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Following a Healthy Diet Plan

following a healthy diet plan

After gaining a few pounds, many people think they are following a health diet plan when they start counting calories to drop the weight. It is also common to turn to a fad diet for a quick fix. Although these tactics bring short term results, few work on a permanent basis.

Instead of constantly fighting to keep off weight, it is better to begin a lifestyle transformation with a long term approach to healthy eating so that it is easy to maintain a fit body and achieve true long lasting health.

Common Eating Mistakes

The world is a busy place, so it is common for families or individuals to visit fast food restaurants at mealtime. It is a convenient way to eat on the go. Even though some people try to stick to “healthy” options with lower calories, most of the food is still packed with chemicals and preservatives, which are bad for the body.

Health Foods That Are Not Always Healthy

Even when a person makes an attempt to eat healthy, certain foods may contain hidden processing, sugar, and unnatural ingredients. For instance, “all-natural” breakfast cereals tend to be low in fiber and include high levels of sugar. This can cause inflammation and other negative side effects.

Other common foods people consume are energy or muesli bars. Although these items are meant to bring healthy boosts of energy during low points of the day, they may contain up to 30 grams of sugar! This sugar is disguised among ingredients like cane juice and high-fructose corn syrup. These will raise blood sugars in no time at all and have you crashing with the mid-afternoon slump a few hours later.

Bottled drinks are often pitfalls to a healthy diet plan as well. The news is filled with the benefits that come from drinking green tea. However, many famous brand name manufacturers package bottles loaded with sugar and low on catechins, the powerful antioxidants that provide the greatest advantages for the body. Always check the labels sugar quantity and chemicals.

Protein from the Right Sources

Since protein prevents muscle tissue from breaking down and helps rev the metabolism, many people consume bars, cereals, and shakes that include this substance. However, most of these products are not pure forms of protein and contain artificial flavours and sugar. Grass fed whey protein isolate is one of the best forms to eat. It is manufactured by cross-low micro-filtration and ultra-filtration so that the finished product is all natural, and contains little lactose.

Diet Shakes and Meal Replacements

A high number of dieters replace key meals with shakes or other alternatives. However, it is important to examine the ingredients before trading real food for a liquid substitute. The truth is many diet shakes and other meal replacements are filled with chemicals that do more harm than good and may actually sabotage weight loss goals.

Forming a Healthy Diet Plan

At 180 Nutrition, our mission is to provide a multitude of superfoods that bring genuine benefits to your health. These trusted products are natural and include pure forms of protein that help the body recover after activity.

There has never been a better time to become educated about how to nourish your body for long-lasting health. As you look and feel amazing, you will appreciate the difference between a quick fix and a diet plan that changes the way you look at food. The first step is recognizing the thing holding you back.

Click here and uncover your unique weight loss road block.

7 Biggest Mistakes Made When Clean Eating or ‘Going Paleo’

clean eating

Guy: In all honesty, I don’t prescribe to any diet. There are simply foods I eat and foods I avoid for long lasting health. The Paleo diet or the ‘clean eating’ framework are great starting points but can be easily misinterpreted.

I was inspired to write this post as Stu and I are now running Clean Eating Workshops to end all of the confusion. We receive hundreds of weekly emails based around peoples confusion and frustrations with food which we can now address.

So with that in mind I thought I’d write a list of the 7 biggest mistakes people make when wanting to improve their diet, their health and overall well-being.

1. Not eating enough natural fat

butterYes, the word is finally spreading that good sources of animal fat aren’t going to clog your arteries.

In fact, studies show how fantastic natural fats are for energy, brain health, glowing skin and reducing inflammation to name a few. But with all this information, a lot people still have a fat phobia and skimp on quality fats with each meal. I always ask myself how can I add more quality fats to each meal and drizzle my meals and smoothies with the good stuff. I include coconut oil, avocados, duck fat, butter, cold pressed olive oil etc.

Tip #1 Don’t be shy with quality fats and have them with every meal.

 

2. Eating way too much protein

proteinCleaning up your diet usually means lowering your carbohydrate consumption (these levels vary from person to person). So what I see time and time again are people going low carb’, who are also not eating enough fat with each meal and overloading on protein.

I can’t tell you how many times I see a salad loaded with chicken and a small drizzle of olive oil. This is a big no no and a classic example of a low carb’ low fat, high protein diet. For best results (especially weight loss or health issues) I’d recommend increasing natural fats, having moderate protein and moderate to low carbohydrate meals (depending on activity levels & goals).

Tip #2 High protein, low carb’, low fat is not the answer.

 

3. Switching to gluten free bread

breadThey’ve decided to ditch the wheat and go gluten free. This a fantastic decision, but I believe eating gluten free bread isn’t the answer as it comes with it’s own set of nasties. Most high street gluten free breads contain vegetable oils (I do my best to avoid these, period) as they cause cause inflammation (think weight gain & health disruption).

Gluten free breads also can dramatically raise blood sugar levels, and if it’s health, great energy and/or weight loss you are after, this is a big no.

Tip #3 Check all the ingredients for vegetable oils, carbohydrate levels and crazy numbers you don’t recognise. If you are not sure, simply avoid gluten free bread.

 

4. Not eating enough food

foodThis is a super common mistake! You’re all inspired to clean up your diet and you’ve cut out the breads, crackers, most grains and junk foods. So now what? Eating like a limp squirrel with a few nuts, lettuce leaf and a chicken breast is not the way forward either.

Vegetables are by far the best slow burning carb’s out there and I fill half my plate with them (yes, most meals). Combine this with a palm size piece of protein and an overgenerous serving of quality fats, you’ve got a great meal.

Tip #4 Eating less is not the answer, reducing the bad foods that go in your mouth is.

 

5. Switching to ‘natural sweeteners’ like agave or honey

honeyYou’ve decided to kick the sugar (awesome) and cravings kick in quickly. So you switch to ‘healthy’ sweeteners like agave and honey. Agave is a fructose fix and will be doing you no favours in the long term. Honey has less fructose but should be used sparingly (especially if you are trying to lose weight).

Rice malt syrup is a better alternative, but it still doesn’t give you a license to eat as much as you want. Your best bet is to push through the cravings until they subside. A little natural stevia is a good alternative to help you overcome that sweet fix, but kicking the cravings altogether so you don’t rely on sweeteners is your best bet.

Tip #5 Agave is a fructose fix, not a healthy sweetener

 

6. Overeating ‘paleo treats’

paleo treatsThis one is a classic! I’m the first one to say we have some amazing 180 paleo recipes and treats, but that doesn’t give you free rein because it’s now technically ‘paleo’. Common sense here is needed, especially if they have overdone it with the date juice, agave or honey.

A treat is 180 chocolate ball bound together with coconut oil and a rasberry. Not something rolled into the size of a melon with a bucket full of date juice! There is a difference…

Tip #6 Paleo treats are exactly that… treats (and go easy on the ‘healthy’ sweeteners)

 

7. Giving up because of headaches

HeadacheSo you are all pumped and ready to take action. You ditch the sugar, processed carbs, drop the bread and the junk food! The first few days you are empowered, motivated and keep thinking why didn’t you do this sooner… then, boom! A headache from hell kicks in, the nose starts running and you can barely crawl through the day with a constant fixation of chocolate fudge ice-cream running over and over in your head. Bad moods kick in and you tell yourself what a load of crap this paleo diet, clean eating lark is, and you fall like a landslide and go back to old ways.

If only you knew what lay ahead if you had stuck with it a few more days, as your body is simply detoxing. The fog would lift, the energy would dramatically rise and long lasting great health would follow.

Tip #7 Stick with it! If your diet hasn’t been the best over the years, change doesn’t happen overnight and you will have side effects. But it’s SO worth it long term.

 
Do you agree? Can you think of other common mistakes people make when switching to a paleo diet or clean eating? Love to hear your comments below, Guy
 
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Is Coffee Healthy?

Is Coffee Healthy

By Guy Lawrence

COFFEE. Mmmmmmm. I only have to walk past a coffee shop and the aroma wafting out past my nostrils gets me practically drooling like Homer Simpson over ch-o-c-o-late.

It’s fair to say the latte lifestyle is ingrained in me. Sitting around and catching up with your mates, whilst sipping away on your favorite beverage (mine’s long black with a side of cream, extra hot, made with love) is a great way to spend half hour. And judging by the five coffee shops within a 100m of me (I’m in one writing this), understandably it’s ingrained in many others too.

The cost of coffee

I’ve just had the barista tell me that they (my favourite coffee shop out of the five) sell on average about 800-1200 cups a day! So it’s easy to say I’m not the only coffee lover around here. What amazes me more is that, I contribute on average, about two of those cups. At $3.50 a pop that’s $49 a week, and $2,548 a year! There’s a return flight to the other side of the world right there. Ouch.

We always recognise coffee, or even more so caffeine, as a bit of a pick me up. It clears the foggy cloud hanging above your head first thing in the morning, and then a mid afternoon fix to get you over the finish line for the day. Interestingly too, caffeine is often touted as a weight loss stimulant.

Is coffee healthy?

Firstly, I think we can all agree that if you keep things in perspective, the body copes well. i.e. You eat wholesome and natural most meals, but throw in a pizza once in a while, no problem. But it’s when the scales start to tip the other way the body starts to give out.

I’m the first to defend coffee, as I love the taste and the whole culture that goes with it, so I feel I can justify the odd cup, but I know those scales have started to tip, which has now led me to start digging a little further and finding out what the effects are of a regular caffeine hit are, and this is what I came up with…

The effects

When you have a cup of coffee, it initiates uncontrolled neurons firing in the brain, which triggers the pituitary gland to secrete a hormone that tells your adrenal gland to wake up and release adrenalin. (Caffeine Blues by Stephen Cherniske)

So this response now puts you in  ‘fight or flight’ mode, which I’m sure you’re all aware of, and of course you can see the great benefits of this ‘fight or flight’ safety mechanism that’s embedded in each and every one of us like a loaded gun, ready to go off at the slightest sniff of threat or danger, while we sit in our office chair or the cafe checking our emails first thing in the morning.

With this in mind, your body has just been put on red alert, with the biggest danger you’ll probably have is spilling your cuppa or writing a typo.

So you may get a bit of a lift from this, (as it generally raises blood sugar too, which is counter productive for weight loss), but of course, you come down with a crash later on in the day.  Consistently doing this day in day out will put undue stress on your adrenal glands, forcing your glands to secrete when there’s not much there to give, which exhausts them over time, and can contribute to mood swings, depression, fatigue etc.

And just to lay some icing on the cake, caffeine inhibits Iron and Zinc absorption by up to 50%, especially if consumed near meal times. Just type it into google, there’s plenty of thoughts on it.

Now, after re-reading what I’ve just wrote, I’m trying to put logic and meaning to every coffee I’ve had to date :-

Pros

  • Tastes amazing (to me)
  • Social aspect (good excuse to hang out and chat)
  • Heightened awareness for short period of time, in case of any lightning speed reactions needed while I’m sitting on my butt
  • And it’s cheap at $3.50. Just for a little daily treat.
  • Also handy to have before a Crossfit workout

Cons

  • At $3.50 a mug twice a day, you’ve got a round the world ticket. If you halved that to one cup, I’ve still got a surf trip to Bali (from Sydney) once a year.
  • There’s an art to living stress free with out the daily curve balls thrown at us. Do we need to compound this more by putting our endocrine system under stress, which can contribute to mood swings, depression, fatigue etc.
  • Food here in the city these days lacks enough nutrients as it is, especially through processing. So do we want to effect that any more than we need to?

Conclusion?

My favourite beverage has just taken on a whole new look. If I bury my head in the sand a little longer, surely no one would want to come up behind me and kick me up the arse!

I’ve also replaced my second coffee for the day with an organic anti-oxidant rich Change Chai Matcha tea. I even tried a buttered bullet proof version which was amazing!

Ok, jokes aside, do you drink coffee? How much? Why? Do you have an alternative? All comments are really appreciated… Guy

Ps. The rumours are true… Stu has never drank a cup of coffee in his entire life!!!

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