Tips for staying trim over Xmas

iStock_000053367184LargeThere’s no point relying willpower to get through the silly season. Willpower is completely unreliable, only successful 3% of the time according to some studies.

Other research shows over the holidays, the average Australian puts on 2kg. Of course, some people maintain their weight, but others blow out by around 4 kgs.

To avoid weight gain and even lose a couple of kilos over the silly season while still enjoying festive events and flavours, try these tips.

There’s the old classic 1:1 ratio of Grog:water.

Drinking water in between each alcoholic beverage. I still haven’t met anyone who actually does this, once they get to beer or wine number 3 the logical ratios get forgotten and flushed down the loo.

But here are some I find very practical that help you wake up feeling light, lean and happy.

  1. Check out the menu beforehand: If you get the opportunity check out the menu before you go. Generally the higher the budget the more variety and quality of the food, but don’t bet on it and send an email or find out the venues menus.
  1. Better safe than sloppy: If you’re not sure what’s being served or it’s going to be the typical fried hors d’oeuvre, pastries and party pies; eat a small but satisfying snack before you go. This clever tactic is essential in staying trim, as appetite will always eventually wear down and defeat willpower; check out the next point for a powerful preventative.
  1. The Power of Protein: Before you head out make yourself the BEST version of a protein shake with whole-foods, super-foods and omega-3 fats (see ‘Protein bars/powders’ in your BBB food options for more detail).
    This powerful combination will take away any cravings when the even the most mesmerising appetizers attempt to seduce you.
  1. Drive to the party: This way your host won’t keep pressuring you to join in the drinking games. When you use the power of protein in your pre-party preparation then you can happily sit on sparkling waters or tomato juices for the rest of the night.
  1. Leave at the peak: When you’ve had a couple hours of dancing and conversation leave while it’s still relatively early. The best parts of parties aren’t usually in the 8th hour of drinking, so when you’ve ticked the social box head home to that Heavenly bed.

Follow these tips to wake up feeling refreshed, energised and ready for a workout, or at least a headache-free day…

If you want to take things to the next level before Christmas day and actually lose weight over this period try this secret weapon….

From the 22nd-24th of December I’m doing a  juice cleanse by http://detoxdelivered.com.au/, the advantages of a 3-day juice cleanse include:

  • Giving my digestive system a break from the large volumes of food
  • Delivering all the energy and nutrients I need for work, training and life.
  • Reducing my appetite and size of my stomach for the big day.

I’ve done these natural juice cleanses before and it reminds me how much I generally over-eat and I also re-learn to appreciate each mouthful.

Try 1 or all of the above points and let me know how you go…

How probiotics can help cure a bloated belly, low energy and much more

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Your gut or GIT (Gastro Intestinal Tract) is your first and major barrier to the outside world and represents 70% of your immune system.

What’s a healthy gut?

A healthy gut is when there is a ratio of approximately 85:15 of Good:Bad bacteria present. It has been reported that most people in the western world have these ratios flipped, 15 parts good to 85 parts bad!!!

Some of the easy, immediate ways to tell that your gut flora is out of balance include:

  • Bloating and/or burping
  • Not feeling a noticeably boost in energy after a meal
  • Frequent & smelly gas (be honest)
  • An abdominal distention (not improved with core work)
  • Diarrhoea or constipation – Spending longer than 3 minutes for number 2s is too long (including the recommended 20 seconds of scrubbing hands).
  • Slow transit time – Your corn skins or beets should be visible in your poo 12-24 hours after you eat them.

The longer-term signs of poor gut health can manifest as:

  • Fungal or yeast infection e.g. Candida, thrush, ringworm, etc.
  • Feeling spaced out, irritable or general brain fog
  • Acne, eczema or other skin irritations
  • High blood pressure and/or cholesterol
  • Food intolerances or allergies increasing
  • Poor libido

The major bad guys that destroy good gut bacteria include:

  1. Antibiotics
  2. The contraceptive pill
  3. Steroids and OTC medications e.g. anti-inflammatories for headaches etc.
  4. Tap/chlorinated water
  5. Refined sugars and other processed foods
  6. Regular caffeine and/or alcohol consumption
  7. Sleep deprivation
  8. Increased stress

On this last point ‘Stress’ in ANY form drains the mineral zinc from your body. Zinc is a key ingredient in making your stomach acids and digestive enzymes that break down food into nutrients.

The common vicious cycle that so many of us fall victim to is:

1st – We get stressed and/or tired

2nd – We turn to quick fixes to boost our energy i.e. caffeine, refined sugar & carbs and OTC medications

3rd – These habits decrease our digestive enzymes/strength so we decrease our absorption of nutrients from ALL our foods

4th – We become conditioned and addicted to the quick fixes that are progressively making our gut problems worse

5th – We become accustomed to having less energy and more body fat as we age, so many people seek stronger medical attention to ‘fix’ us

If you suffer from any of the short or long-term issues mentioned and you’d like to clean up your gut to see just how amazing you can look and feel, try making these foods and beverages a habit:

  1. Fermented vegetables – Sauerkraut is the most common but there are a range of others available (start by looking in a health food store)
  1. Kombucha – This fermented drink is becoming more popular and accessible; it’s available online or in selected health food stores, try to choose one with no refined sugar
  1. Kefir – Not the most appetising beverage, so slam it down like a shot and feel the goodness seep through your body.
  1. Natural yoghurt with added probiotics – I like the brand ‘Barambah’ as it’s unhomogenised, creamy and delicious.
  1. Cultured butter – A little more expensive but 1000 times better than supermarket organic butter. I’ve never found a tastier butter than Pepe Saya http://www.pepesaya.com.au/ LOVE this stuff!
  1. Eat a variety of fibres – Check out ‘Bran’ in the ‘Quick Search’ function of the BBB app.
  1. A probiotic supplement – These can help, look for ones with 3-5 billion live organisms with several different strands of bacteria.

Probiotic supplements can help, particularly if you’ve just had a cycle of antibiotics. However, I find consumption of the other 6 foods as part of your weekly habits gives you a much broader range of pre and probiotics as well as countless other benefits.

The foods and beverages mentioned above are full of life. They will help recolonise and repopulate your gut with good gut flora so that you feel more energetic, focused, healthier and happier.

Use the BBB app to help remind you of all these healthy habits that bring you:

  • A general happy mood, not fake happy, but a calm & relaxed contentment
  • A sharper mind – Not a pepped up one high on caffeine
  • A flatter stomach – No inflammation = a flat stomach without much ab work
  • Odour-free flatulence. I hate to brag but I’ve been clean for just over 3 years thanks to my daily healthy habits.

Please pass this on to anyone you think it would help.

How to find YOUR perfect diet

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Regardless of how many scientific studies or new diet revolutions come out, there can never be one perfect diet for anyone…ever. This is true even if a diet comes from your favourite slim celebrity.

Just a few of the reasons there can never be one perfect diet is because:

  1. We inevitably age
  2. The weather changes
  3. Our stress levels rise and fall
  4. Our constantly changing physical & mental activity

It is for these and many other fluctuating reasons that our nutritional needs (and cravings) constantly change. These changing nutritional requirements are to keep the body in a state of perfect balance – aka homeostasis.

 The diet that may have worked perfectly for you when you were 20 may be completely different to the one that will work for you now.

What we can say with certainty is that whole, unprocessed, fresh foods and plenty of pure water will always be good for you. Many people know this already, but what most people don’t know is that the ratios of carbohydrates, proteins and fats (the macronutrients) required by the body can change quickly.

The only way to determine the foods and ratios of macronutrients that work best for your body on an on-going basis is to listen to your body and understand how it reacts. This means that you need to learn the difference between:

• Feeling stuffed with food vs. feeling satisfied with nutrients
• Feeling high on caffeine vs. feeling naturally energised from foods
• The need for another entire serving or just a couple of fish oil capsules to leave you feeling fully satisfied

Your body provides constant feedback that tells you whether the meal, snack or beverage you last consumed was right for YOU. To help, all of these reactions are clearly outlined in BBB.

BBB explains how you will react (in both the short and long term) if you’ve had too many carbs or overdone the protein and fat.

BBB helps you recognise the signs & symptoms of poor digestion & health that often lead to weight gain, this way you can avoid the common pitfalls and always feel in the ‘Power Zone’ – an optimal state of health where:

  1. Cravings for sugar and caffeine are permanently squashed
  2. Your mouth, mind and stomach are completely satisfied
  3. Your thoughts are clear & sharp
  4. You feel emotionally uplifted 

BBB also shows you how to manage changing situations, empowering you to make the BEST possible choices wherever you are while still losing weight.

While there is no perfect diet, you can always make smarter, healthier choices by understanding what good nutrition is, and more importantly, how your body reacts.

So while there is no perfect diet, you can always make smarter, healthier choices by understanding what good nutrition is, and more importantly, how your body reacts.

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