Archive for the ‘Nutrition & Health’ Category

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December 1, 2010

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Don’t Let This Holiday Season “Weigh” You Down: 10 tips on staying trim over the holiday season

December 4, 2009

By Jeff Ransome BSc.Kin. CSCS, ACE(PT) ACSM(ES) FaCT

The holiday season is a time for rejoicing, getting together with family and friends which the average person knows involves a lot of extra eating and drinking. Then New Years approaches and you can’t understand why you’re making a new hole in your belt or why the stitching down the back of the skirt are a little more visable. This is normally followed by long hours on the treadmill or doing double spin classes while on a quick fix diet.

This year you’re going to have a plan, without avoiding any seasonal festivities. You’ll still be able to have a couple of drinks, sample the baking and even a second trip to the buffet table. The key is moderation. The unwanted calories you take in on a daily bases are accumilative. Rememeber, if your caloric intake excedes your caloric output. The unused calories are stored as fat.

Following these 10 simple rules you’ll enjoy the new year without the exrta weight.

  1. Be prepared. Your co-workers and business associates will graciously want to share their guilty stash of treats. Keep your own stash of healthy treats availabe so you won’t be tempted to overindulge when the hunger kicks in.
  2. When attending a holiday function. Eat a healthy meal before you head out. By doing this you’ll be less tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight.
  3. At parties, scout out healthy food options first rather than a grabing the first unhealthy snack on the table. For example, raw vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, quality cold cuts etc. Then later move on to some of the less healthy offerings. You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.
  4. If you stray – try a “brisk” work-out as soon as possible following the insulin raising incident. Exercise reduces insulin and starts your fat burning mechanisms.
  5. Before you go for seconds, ask yourself, “Am I hungry because I see food I like, or because my body actually needs nutrition”. Listen to your stomach and eat until you’re no longer hungry, not until you’re full. Keep in mind; it takes the brain an extra 15minutes to register fullness. That means the average person continues eating 15 minutes longer than they need to.
  6. Don’t leave bowls of chocolate, candy or nuts set on kitchen counters or places where it’s all too easy to dip in each time you pass. Serve nuts in the shell. Cracking them takes time, and stops you from taking handfuls at a time.
  7. Be assertive. Don’t feel as though you have to say yes to everyone that offers you food and drink. Do not let yourself be bullied into eating something that you really don’t want.
  8. When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home.
  9. Don’t linger around the buffet or the kitchen. If you loiter in close proximity to all the guilty temptations, you’ll struggle to keep from unconsciously dipping in the sweets.
  10. Last and most important. Maintaine your fitness routine. Not prioratizing your workouts will undoubtly double your chances for weight gain. 

Don’t let this January become a sobering reality. Remember the 10 rules and stay active and if you find yourself losing control, consider this. The average holiday evening meal with orderves, 1 cup of eggnog, 1 alcholic beverage, main course and dessert consists of aproximatly 2000 calories. That’s a 9 hour walk or a 4 hour run to burn that off.

For more information on fitness or weight loss contact Jeff Ransome at Sports Performance Centres

Why you shoudn’t eat breakfast ??

November 27, 2009

I came across this article on and though that it would be of some interest to many of you….a very interesting take on things…

by Ori Hofmekler (author of The Warrior Diet)

Diet Fallacy #1. BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day When you wake-up, your body is already in an intense detox mode, clearing itself of endotoxins and digestive waste from the past evening meal.

During the morning hours, when digestion is fully completed (while you are on an empty stomach), a primal survival mechanism, known as fight or flight reaction to stress, is triggered, maximizing your body’s capacity to generate energy, be alert, resist fatigue and resist stress.

This highly geared survival mode is primarily dominated by part of the autonomic nervous system known as the SNS (sympathetic nervous system). At that state, the body is in its most energy-producing phase and that’s when most energy comes from fat burning. All that happens when you do not eat the typical morning meal.

If however you follow what “normal guys” do and eat your morning bagel and cereal and egg & bacon, you’ll most likely shut down the above energy producing system.

The SNS and its fight or flight mechanism will be substantially suppressed. Instead, your morning meal will trigger an antagonistic part of the automatic nervous system known as the PSNS (Para sympathetic nervous system), which makes you sleepy, slow and less resilient to fatigue and stress.

Instead of spending energy and burning fat, your body will be more geared towards storing energy and gaining fat. Under this state, detox would be inhibited. The overall metabolic stress would increase with toxins accumulating in the liver, giving the body another substantial reason to gain fat. (Fat tissues serve as a biological storage for toxins)

The overall suppressing effects of morning meals, can lead to energy crashes during the daily (working) hours, often with chronic cravings for pick-up foods, sweets, coffee and tobacco. Eating at the wrong time, would severely interrupt the body’s ability to be in tune with the circadian clock. The human body has never adapted to such interruptions. We are primarily pre-programmed to rotate between the two autonomic nervous system parts: the daily SNS and the nightly PSNS.

The SNS regulates alertness and action during the day, while PSNS regulates relaxation, digestion and sleep during the nightly hours. Any interruption in this primal daily cycle, may lead into sleepiness during the day followed by sleeping disorders at night.

Morning meals must be carefully designed not to suppress the SNS and its highly energetic state. Minimizing morning food intake to fruits, veggie soup or small amounts of fresh light protein foods, such as poached or boiled eggs, plain yogurt, or white cheese, will maintain the body in an undereating phase, while promoting the SNS with its energy producing properties.

*Note: Athletes who exercise in the morning should turn breakfast into a post-exercise recovery meal. Such meals should consist of small amounts of fresh protein plus carbs such as yogurt and banana, eggs plus a bowl of oatmeal, or cottage cheese with berries.

An insulin spike is necessary for effectively finalizing the anabolic actions of GH and IGF1 after exercise. Nonetheless, after the initial recovery meal, it’s highly recommended to maintain the body in an undereating phase by minimizing daily carb intake in the following meals. Applying small protein meals (minimum carbs) every couple of hours will keep sustaining the SNS during the daily hours while providing amino acids for protein synthesis in the muscle tissues, promoting a long lasting anabolic effect after exercise.

In conclusion, breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day. The most important meals are post-exercise recovery meals. Saying that, for a WARRIOR every meal is a recovery meal helping to recuperate from either nutritional stress (undereating) or physical stress (exercise). It’s when you eat that makes what you eat matter.