Category Archives: Nutritional guidance

Eating 5 or more small meals a day can help with weight loss and body composition

5+mealsaday

Changing dietary intake to comprise the eating of smaller meals at more frequent intervals is thought to be more beneficial for weight loss than eating larger meals less frequently. This is likely due to improved control of glucose levels, better appetite control, and increased calorie use by the body during digestion. Also eating protein at regular intervals during the day increases muscle mass after exercise training, as more protein is available for repair, regeneration and growth of muscle tissue. The number of calories you burn throughout the day while at rest is largely dependent on muscle mass and a fat burning diet can be enhanced though gains in muscle. Maintaining or increasing muscle mass is a key factor in health as we age and also with survival and recovery from many disease conditions. The best results were observed when daily calorie intake was split over 5 or more meals a day. Increased fat loss as well as gains in muscle mass were noted. A high protein diet in conjunction with higher feeding frequency, has also shown beneficial effects on body composition, greater appetite control has also been observed with higher feeding frequency, with many people consuming less calories when adopting this method.

 

  • Eat little and often (5+ small meals per day).
  • Eat slowly and focus on chewing food thoroughly.
  • Be careful not to exceed daily calorie intake (using a small side plate for meals can help you judge portion sizes). Also do not snack between meals.
  • Keep to a balanced diet with low glycaemic index, high protein and vegetable content.
  • Thick soups or healthy green smoothies fill you up more quickly with smaller portions.
  • Exercise (you will see better gains in muscle mass from eating protein regularly throughout the day).

Trans Fats (Plastic Fats)

Trans FatsIn the 1920’s food merchants were concerned about the amount of money lost to spoilage. They found that if they put certain chemicals like nitrates into food, it was less likely to spoil. Nitrates are also used as fertilisers by farmers. The problem is that these chemicals preserve the cells in your body as well as the cells in food. The cells stop working. Cells that stop working are called disease.

Next, food manufacturers found that if they cook fats at about 350 degrees fahrenheit for about five hours, the fats turned into something similar to plastic. Foods processed this way are called ‘partially hydrogenated fats’ or ‘trans fats’ or ‘plastic fats’. If you look in your larder, you will probably find processed food with these fats in them.

When you eat these plastic fats, your cell membranes become more plastic. Think of a cell with a plastic membrane. It is like wrapping the cell in sellotape. The cell sends out a signal that it is hungry. In response, the body sends glucose and insulin to the cell. However, they can’t get through the membrane. The cell continues to signal that it is hungry, and the body continues to send it more food. Soon the cell is surrounded by glucose and insulin but the cell is still hungry. This is known as insulin resistance and type II diabetes. The cell membrane becomes so saturated that it starts to offload excess glucose into fat cells. Thus people who continue to eat plastic fats get fatter and fatter.

Guess what happens to a brain made of plastic? It doesn’t work well and becomes prone to depression, chronic fatigue, attention deficiency and brain fog.

Guess what happens to a liver that is made of plastic. It can’t clean out the toxins in your system, causing things like fibromyalgia. Without a functional liver, your immune system fails and you get all sorts of chronic infections.

Keep a food diary for one week

Food diaryWriting a food diary can help you see where you are with your diet and might be a useful tool to highlight any imbalances that need to be addressed. Be honest with yourself and write in your diary everything that you put in your mouth, including the amounts of still water, tea, coffee, wine and beer that you drink. Include also the time of day, as this has a huge bearing on the efficiency of your digestion and absorption. What are you snacking on? How much fresh fruit and vegetables do you eat? How much processed foods, including sandwiches, do you eat?

 

Please remember that good nutrition combined with sufficient exercise is a powerful means to maintain and improve all aspects of your health and wellbeing.

Children and teenagers

ChildrenDid you know that children who eat salty foods tend to seek out sugary drinks, which leads to obesity? The quality of food that children eat today will have a striking impact on their health throughout adolescence and adulthood. Consuming nutritious foods helps children and teenagers grow, develop, do well academically and feel good about themselves. Good nutrition also helps to prevent eating disorders, obesity, dental cavities and iron-deficiency anaemia. Also, studies show that children who eat breakfast perform better in school. According to reports from the American Dietetic Association, students who eat breakfast have better problem-solving abilities, memory, verbal fluency and creativity. They are also less likely to be absent. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports that children who do not eat breakfast, or eat an insufficient breakfast, are more likely to have behavioural, emotional and academic problems at school.

Nutrient Robbers

RobberNutrient Robbers are processed foods that not only fail to provide any valuable nutrients or energy to the body, but also rob it of its nutritional reserves as it strives to break them down. Many degenerative diseases have been linked to the consumption of processed foods. These include:

–        Refined sugars, biscuits and snacks

–        Trans fats, hydrogenated fats and oils

–        Fried foods

–        Coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, sugar and chocolate

–        Alcohol

The key to good nutrition is balance, variety and moderation

Pebbles in balanceTo stay healthy, your body needs the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein, the three main components of nutrition. You also need vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are contained in many different foods. Eating a variety of different foods is essential because no single food or food group contains all the nutrients that your body requires to function properly. Moderation means that we need to eat neither too much nor too little of any food or nutrient. Too much food can result in excess weight-gain and an excess of certain nutrients, whilst eating too little can lead to nutrient deficiencies and low body mass.So very often it is as important to look at what we are not eating as to look at what we are eating!