I have been blessed with a love of food.
I have also been blessed with a tendency to pile on the kilos from looking too hard at a slice of chocolate cake.
This is my inheritance.
And although I would love to place all blame for my wildly fluctuating body on my mother,I know that she has had a lifetime longer than mine of battling the bulge. So together we stand waging our own private war against pizza and other equally delicious evil.
I believe that weight watches all have their own brand of kryptonite which is more often than not hereditary.
I know for myself and my mom,wheat is the greatest evil. Damn,I so love pizza,doughnuts,pasta and bread. Hmmmmm,warm bread straight out of the oven dripping in real butter…. But no,we,must resist!
It is a little known fact that cravings for certain types of food can indicate a food intolerance. There! A reason as to why some of us JUST CANT SAY NO!
Unfortunately,the only way to control these cravings and the sometimes nasty side effects is to stop eating your individual brand of yummy,nasty,delicious,poison.
The good news however,is that after a certain mourning period,you do get over what feels like the loss of your best friend – (well,sort of) and further down the road there is the option of treating yourself to a little poison once every 2 weeks. Just don’t over do it or the cravings-monstor will raise its ugly head.
Having been given the gift of taste buds and a wonderful array of healthy food options,the future is not bleak. Take the time to prepare your food with love,experiment with recipes and spices – Yes,even if you are cooking for one! Make each meal time an occasion and savour every single mouth full with relish.
So,you’ve cut out the sugar in your coffee and no longer eat muffins or waffles and avoid chocolate. But,is it enough?
The answer is a loud and resounding NO!
The simple fact is that hidden sugars can cause weight problems,health problems and cravings.
Sugar is very addictive –the more we take in,the more we want.
Let me explain. Sugar or simple carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to spike quickly.
What goes up must come down!
The resulting drop or crash results in fatigue,headaches and yes,cravings – amongst other things.
Please sir,can I have some more?
To feel better we grab a fruit,packet of sweets or a cup of coffee with sugar which starts the whole cycle again.
Ah,that explains the 11 am and 4 pm nibbles!
There’s the obvious point that eating excess sugar causes cravings which in turn leads to excess eating and weight gain.
But what about the excess sugar in your blood stream?
Sugar is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and releases insulin to burn it off. However,when you eat too much sugar,insulin goes into overdrive. It’ll store whatever your body doesn’t need as fat.
Insulin resistance &Diabetes 2
As described above,insulin carries glucose to the cells in the body where it is converted to energy. The higher the sugar intake,the more the insulin is released. Eventually,the body becomes resistant to insulin and could lead to diabetes 2.
Sugar feeds Cancer!
Put very simply,Cancer grows through fermentation and fermentation requires sugar.
Our bodies use vitamins and minerals to process sugar. The calcium from our teeth and bones are targeted affecting their density and making them more porous.
Other names for sugar
By law a manufacturer has to list all of the ingredients in the product. So,Read All food labels!
Agave nectar ,Barbados,Barley malt ,Blackstrap molasses,Buttered syrup,Cane crystals,Cane juice crystals,Caramel,Carob syrup,Corn syrup,Corn sweetener,Corn syrup solids ,Crystalline fructose,Demerara,Dextrin,Dextran,Dextrose,Diastatic malt,Diatase,D-mannose,Evaporated cane juice,Ethyl maltol,Florida Chrystal,Free Flowing,Fructose,Fruit juice concentrate,Galactose,Glucose,Glucose solids,Golden syrup,HFCS,High-fructose corn Syrup ,Honey,Invert sugar,Lactose,Malt syrup,Maltodextrin,Maltose,Mannitol,Panocha,Rice Syrup
Unexpected hiding places
Condiments,e.g.:Tomato sauce,chutney,mayonnaise and chilli sauce.
Tinned food e.g.: baked beans,soup,vegetables like sweetcorn.
Pickles:e.g.: Gherkins,pickled onions,pepperdews
Drinks e.g.: tonic water,horlicks,cocoa,
And some not so unexpected hiding places
Spreads e.g.: jam,marmalade,syrup,peanut butter,chocolate spread
Baked goods e.g.:breads,muffins,cakes,biscuits,savoury crackers
Nobody ever said that losing weight would be easy. Staying motivated can be hard work,but it isn’t impossible. Accept that you may hit a motivational plateau. At first,losing weight and exercising is exciting and fun. After time,many people lose their motivation. The key to motivation is figuring out how to keep going,even when you don’t feel like doing so.
- Don’t rely on willpower —it simply doesn’t work. Willpower is driven by emotions,which can be fickle. Emotions landed you into a weight problem,but they won’t get you out of it. Instead,program yourself for success and stick to the program.
- Give yourself permission to say,“I don’t have to want to do this all the time.”By acknowledging that,you can respond to it accordingly. People who watch what they eat and exercise regularly don’t necessarily want to,but they understand that their actions have consequences. They’ve programmed themselves for success.
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Do you (or someone you’re concerned about) really have depression,or is it a case of the blues? It’s not always easy to tell the difference,especially when there’s a good reason to feel down. Grief,losing a job,or a chronic illness can all cause behaviors that might be mistaken for depression,for example.
“Sadness is an emotion,whereas depression is an illness,”says internist and geriatric psychiatrist Ken Robbins of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
True clinical depression differs from the blues in two key ways:
- Severity:Symptoms are difficult enough to deal with that they interfere with everyday life.
- Duration:Symptoms are present nearly all the time and last for more than two weeks.
The following 11 warning signs indicate that a person isn’t dealing with normal,transient emotions but with the illness of depression. Note that symptoms vary by individual:A depressed person isn’t likely to have all 11 symptoms at once,and their severity may shift. Depression can be mild or major;either way,if several symptoms are present and last for more than two weeks,you or someone you’re concerned about may need medical help.
1. I’ve got to eat less to lose weight
Starvation diets don’t work! Short term,your body goes into starvation mode and conserves fat stores – you will pick up weight. Long term,the weight-loss won’t last and the kilo’s will pile on as quickly as it was lost.
2. I eat bread even though it bloats me
Most people do not realize that they suffer from food intolerances- the constant sinusitis,bloating,joint pain,fatigue and constipation becomes the norm. Many people continue eating the offending foods without realizing that it could slow and even prevent weight loss.
Following an elimination diet is a good way to identify the culprit. Waistline,the Online Weight-Loss Program offers a Detox program that excludes the most common problem foods and includes weekly eating plans with meal ideas and shopping lists.
3. The only way to stop cravings is with diet supplements
Cravings can be controlled through diet! Certain foods like bread,cereals and pasta cause sugar levels to spike and drop very quickly. Your body’s response to low sugar levels is to request a little help in raising them –in the form of cravings! In other words,by avoiding,limiting or correctly combining foods,sugar spikes can be avoided and therefore cravings controlled. All without the use of supplements!
4. I want to reach my goal weight –yesterday!
Slower is better- give your body time to adjust and,equally importantly,give your skin time to adjust. Remember that the aim here is to reach your goal weight and AND STAY THERE! After all,how long did it take you to pick up your excess weight? Months? Years?
5. Its motivating to weigh myself every morning and evening
The scale does not only measure fat loss or gain. Water retention,bloating and constipation are a few of the factors that might also affect it. Monitoring yourself every day can be very demotivating and even obsessive. For a more accurate reading,rather record your weight on a weekly basis using the same scale,at the same time of day and of course wearing the same clothing.
6. My goal is to lose 6kg per week
Be realistic! Setting unreachable goals is a surefire way to demotivate and disappoint yourself. Factors such as hormonal problems,medication,medical problems,lifestyle and food intolerances could affect the rate of weight loss. Also keep in mind those with 30kg to lose will lose faster than those with 5kg to lose. Taking all these factors into consideration,write down your long term and short term goals. For example,your goal could be getting into an old pair of favourite jeans or to feel more comfortable wearing a seat belt or simply to lose 800g per week.
7. I gym twice a day and never accept social invitations
Remember for long term results,you must make changes to your lifestyle that are sustainable. My father had a favourite saying. “You do not want to be a fire made from paper that bursts into flame,only to die a little while later. Rather aim to be a coal fire that glows steadily and lasts.” In other words start the way you mean to carry on. Go out for dinner,just make the best possible choice. Get into an exercise routine that suits you personally- jogging,swimming,gymming,walking,skipping or working in the garden.
8. For convenience,I just eat the same foods everyday
Your body is more likely to reach a plateau if you do not vary your diet. Have a choice of 2 or 3 different breakfast options,change your veggy and starch selection on a weekly basis and ensure that your protein selection doesn’t consist of chicken,chicken and chicken.
9. I ate a burger for lunch,so skipped supper to make up
We all give in to temptation at some point or other- just don’t double the damage by skipping the next meal. Pick yourself up,dust yourself off and get straight back into routine.
10. I eat on the run;while paying accounts in my lunch hour and picking the kids up at school
Set aside 20 min,present your food attractively,sit down at a table,put your knife and fork down in between mouthfuls and chew properly. We have been given the gift of taste –take your time and enjoy your food. This will not only help the digestion process but will also stop the snacky feeling in between meals.
Visit www.waistline.co.za to order your individualized eating plan.
The good; the bad; and the ugly
The Ugly: Cellulite. It’s that nasty C-word that haunts so many of us. But what is it really?
Quite simply, cellulite is a type of fat. In fact, it’s a combination of fat, water, and “toxic wastes”that the body has failed to eliminate.
By now we all know that cellulite is not just a matter of excess weight because skinny people have it too. So what causes that orange-peel look we could all happily do without?
The Bad: Sadly for us girls, cellulite is primarily a female problem – it’s thought that one of the causes of cellulite is high levels of the female hormone, estragon.
It’s also hereditary. Yes,it’s not just in your jeans, but sometimes it’s in your genes too!
The Good: But here’s the good news. There are some causes of cellulite that are in our control to change.
Crash diets, unhealthy eating, bad circulation,sluggish digestion, intake of toxins,insufficient water intake, smoking, certain medications, fluid retention and stress all contribute to cellulite.
So here are some things you can do to combat The little C:
- Ditch those crash diets and stick to a healthy, well-balanced eating plan.
- Treat yourself to a full body scrub with your favourite loofah in the shower once a week to increase circulat
- Include apples in your diet – they’re delicious, refreshing and (the best of all) they contain digestive enzymes
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar, refined starches and spicy foods
- Drink at least 2 litres of water every day
- Put out those cigarettes (smoking damages the connective tissue that causes the dimpling effect of cellulite)
- Throw out those diet pills
- If you need a diuretic, go natural and try some dandelion
- Experiment with some of your favourite stress busters – meditate,go for a walk, try some yoga, ready a book,or cuddle a puppy!
And here’s an added bonus – vitamins A, C and E are known to help reduce cellulite,as does Milkthistle – a liver detoxant .
But most important of all, ladies, learn to love the body you’re in!
Did you know that apples are fantastic for weight-loss? Well,they are. And here’s why…
Not only are apples low in fat and calories,but they’re also low in sodium. Any weight conscious person knows the importance of keeping an eye on those calories and fat content labels,but not enough people take their sodium intake into account. Too much sodium can result in water retention – and that affects the numbers on the scale as well as the centimetres.
Then there’s that thing called fibre. Soluble fibre helps to control the cholesterol levels in our blood,it helps to keep our sugar levels regulated,and it slows down the absorption of carbohydrates. The great news is that just one large apple a day supplies us with 30% of our minimum required fibre intake…and can help those of us who suffer from constipation.
And here’s the best news:there is an enzyme found in apples that actually helps your body to digest food. So,whether you’re on a mission to shed a few extra kilo’s,or you simply want to maintain,adding an apple a day to a healthy,balanced,low GI eating plan can help you keep that fat at bay.
Make sure you get the best out of your apples:
1. When shopping for apples,make sure that they’ve been kept nice and cold otherwise they can become over-ripe and decay in a matter of days.
2. Apples should be hard. If you can dent an apple with your finger,don’t buy it.
3. To prevent your ultra-delicious apples from browning,rub the cut surfaces with a mixture of lemon juice and water.
Now that you know just how good apples are for you,kick off every day with a crunchy apple – they make lovely breakfasts. Cut an apple into chunks and sprinkle with crushed nuts,or dice it up and add it to low GI muesli and low fat yogurt. You could even grate your apple,pop it in the microwave for a few minutes,then drizzle over a little honey and add a dash of cinnamon.
Remember,it’s all the little things we do that count,so here’s to an apple a day and a slimmer,trimmer,healthier you!
The H20 of Hunger
You know that distinctly gnawing feeling in your tummy? That empty,vacuous,hollow feeling in your stomach that’s just screaming for some food,all food,any food?
You could be feeling as hungry as a wild animal… but have you ever stopped to think that you might just be thirsty?
Many people mistake thirst for hunger – and dehydration occurs easier than you think.
Our bodies are two-thirds water,and water is a vital part of the digestion process. It is the solvent that carries sugars,proteins and other substances to different parts of the body,and efficiently eliminates waste from the body.
Water also lubricates the joints,helps against kidney stones,moisturises the skin and controls the temperature of your body through perspiration – and when more water in the body is lost than is taken in,dehydration sets in.
Symptoms of dehydration could include headaches,fatigue,inability to focus,dry skin and constipation.
So the next time you’re feeling hungry in between meals,drink a glass of water first. Then give it 10-15 minutes before you dive into that snack…