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13 Fruits To Eat (And 4 To Avoid) If You’re Trying To Lose Weight

Fruits To Eat And Avoid

Lynda: When did ‘nature’s candy’ become a poison to avoid? Many people are genuinely concerned about fruit intake. Some (including yours truly) have even gone as far as avoiding fruit altogether for extended periods of time. Do we all need to avoid fruit, and if we do, are we missing out on magical nutrients and flavours?

Why Are We Concerned?

The main reason some of us worry about fruit is because of the naturally high-sugar (fructose) content of some fruits, which some believe may affect our blood sugar levels and weight-loss goals and may contribute to diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

There are also those who are sensitive to fructose. These people may experience gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as bloating, belching, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea after eating fruit.

While I believe food sensitivities and GI symptoms need personalised dietary attention and further investigation, I do think that most of us are avoiding fruit unnecessarily and missing out on a great deal of disease-preventing, health-promoting goodness.

Need convincing? A quick glance at the benefits of my top fruit picks below should sway you.

blueberries1. Blueberries
Blueberries are rich in the flavonoid anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Studies show that blueberries can improve memory and learning and reduce depression.

raspberries2. Raspberries
Raspberries are rich in antioxidants that can improve cardiovascular health and prevent hardening of the arteries. Raspberries contain raspberry ketone (RK), which burns fat and prevents obesity and fatty liver. Raspberries have also been shown to possibly prevent the growth of cancer cells.

blackberries3. Blackberries
Blackberries burst at the seams with antioxidants. These compounds are protective and help to prevent tumor progression, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and bone loss.

cherries4. Cherries
Cherries are rich in the antioxidants anthocyanin and quercetin, as well as potassium, fibre, vitamin C, carotenoids, and melatonin. These nutrients have impressive health benefits such as prevention of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and inflammatory conditions.

kiwifruit5. Kiwifruit
Kiwis are a personal favourite of mine. They are exceptionally high in vitamins C, E, K, folate, carotenoids, potassium, fibre, and phytochemicals. Kiwifruit have substantial cardiovascular benefits like reducing high blood pressure and increasing the “good” HDL cholesterol. Kiwis support the immune system and may even reduce the risk and severity of the common cold and flu. It’s even been shown to improve poor sleep quality in those with sleep problems due to its antioxidant and serotonin content.

papaya6. Papaya
Papaya and papaya seeds have proven anti­-parasitic activities. The dried papaya seeds in particular are effective in treating human intestinal parasites, without significant side effects. Papaya may be useful in preventing kidney damage, is amazing for digestion, and reduces common IBS symptoms, such as bloat
ing, constipation, and heartburn.

avocado7. Avocados
Avocados are fruits full of nutrients that can assist in weight loss, reduce inflammation, and protect and nourish the heart and brain. See more on avocados here: Can I Eat Too Many & Will They Make Me Fat?

tomato8. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are rich in the carotenoid lycopene. Lycopene is anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant. Tomatoes are a very valuable addition to one’s diet, particularly to support heart health and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

green banana9. Green Bananas (Raw)
Green bananas are an amazing resistant starch, which has many health benefits, like weight management, diabetes control, and cholesterol lowering.

grapefruit10. Grapefruit
Studies have shown that grapefruit can lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Grapefruit is also a great addition to a weight-loss program and can improve insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

oranges11. Oranges
Orange peel and flesh are rich sources of flavonoids and compounds associated with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and cardiovascular benefits, and have been shown to lower high blood pressure.

lemons12. Lemons
The combination of lemon intake and walking has been shown to reduce high blood pressure. Lemons are also a good source of vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron, and magnesium and are an excellent source of fibre, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, and folate. They have been shown to suppress weight gain and body fat accumulation and improve insulin resistance. The presence of flavonoids in lemons helps to aid digestion and assimilation of food.

apples13. Apples
Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, asthma, and type 2 diabetes. Apples also improve weight loss and lung function.

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What Fruits to Avoid

fruit salad1. Fruit Salad
Eating fruit salad is a very easy way to over-consume fruit. Stick to whole fruit pieces to avoid excessive fructose consumption.

fruit juice2. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice lacks the fibre, vitamins, and minerals that whole fruits contain. The fibre in whole fruits helps to slow down sugar absorption, regulate bowel movements, and reduce constipation. Manufacturers often add extra sugar to fruit juice, which can affect blood sugar balance associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

dried fruit3. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit has had its water content removed, making it extremely sugar dense. Dried fruit often contains preservatives, added sugar, and harmful inflammatory vegetable oils.

daiquiris4. Mango Daiquiris and Dessert Wines
Toxic sugar and chemicals in a fancy vehicle. Enough said.

 

How Much Fruit Should You Eat Daily?

Stick to a modest one to two medium-sized pieces of fruit or ¼ to ½ cup of berries daily.

lynda griparic naturopathThis article is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems. If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

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6 Surprising Reasons Why Fibre Is Vital In Your Daily Diet

surprising fibre facts

Jess: Two thousand years ago, Hippocrates already knew that “all disease begins in the gut”. Ahead of its time, this age-old knowledge rings true in many cases to this very day.

Digestion and food absorption is one of the most critical functions of our body; yet, we don’t think much of our digestive system when we plan out our diet and exercise. A lot of diseases can be prevented by maintaining a healthy digestive system. One important nutrient for digestive health is dietary fibre, which is categorised based on whether or not they can be dissolved in water, that is, soluble and insoluble fibre. Both soluble and insoluble fibre cannot be digested by the body, however, they play significant roles in maintaining our overall health.

1. Soluble Fibre Boosts Immunity and Prevents Inflammation

A weak immune system can beget inflammation. Chronic inflammation is now linked to a host of illnesses from obesity to cancer, but the good news is that fibre is a major killjoy for inflammation. People who constantly ate a fibre-rich diet tested low for CRP or C-reactive protein, an inflammation indicator. On the other hand, high blood levels of CRP may indicate that the body is in a constant state of inflammation and is therefore a potential victim of diseases such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.

2. Fibre Helps in Detoxification

The liver produces bile which breaks down fats, wastes and other toxins in our body. Soluble fibre binds tightly to bile in the intestine and holds together all the bad wastes like cholesterol, drugs and other toxins. Since fibre cannot be absorbed by the intestines, it passes out of our bowels together with the bound toxins. Without adequate fibre to help reduce toxic buildup, the bile can get increasingly contaminated, leading to problems like cholesterol piling, gallstones and inflammation. You can read more on detoxing correctly here.

3. Fibre Helps Manage Weight

When soluble fibre dissolves in water, it turns into a gel-like substance which adds bulk to food. This helps slow down digestion and gives you a full or satiated feeling even when eating in smaller portions. Moreover, it helps flush out the sugars and starches in your intestines, there by decreasing the amount of unhealthy waste material in the body. All these, in effect, helps with weight management.

4. Reduced Risks of First Stroke

A study has found that a high-fibre diet is associated with reduced risks of first-time stroke. People who are consuming at least 25 grams of total dietary fibre daily are less likely to experience having stroke than those with low fibre intake. In addition, increasing your total dietary fibre intake by 7 grams can reduce your risk for first-time stroke by 7 percent.

5. Fibre May Control or Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is an alarming condition in which the body loses adequate control over the volume of blood glucose, causing this to rise to dangerous levels. Fibre’s bulk and indigestibility slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates consequently helping to regulate blood sugar levels, an intrinsic part of preventing or managing diabetes.

6. How Much Fibre Do We Need and Where to Get it From?

Most of us are engrossed with the amount of saturated fats, refined carbs, sugar and calories impacting our weight and cardiovascular health (which is fantastic effort, don’t get me wrong); but we tend to remain oblivious to how much fibre we are actually getting. On the average, Australians consume about 18-25 grams of fibre in a day – not enough to keep us in the pink of health. Experts recommend that we should be eating our fill of 30-40 grams daily to really help keep our digestive system in shape. In most cases, to meet the recommended fibre intake, all it takes is to increase your fruit or vegetable consumption by 2 portions every day.

Excellent sources of dietary fibre include cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, chia seeds, flaxseeds, green beans, almonds, walnuts and 180 Natural Protein Superfood. Most fruits and vegetables, in fact, contain both soluble and insoluble fibre.

Conclusion

Fibre matters a lot more than what we care to give it credit for. A happy digestive system could very well mean an overall happy, healthy body. Let’s not neglect fibre but give it a vital place in our daily diets.

jess-lorekJess Lorek is an architect, a wedding photographer, health enthusiast and blogger. Having experienced the adverse effects of taking strong antibiotics to treat her digestive problem, she was inspired to write about proper nutrition and personal wellness to share with others the importance of keeping the mind and body fit, active and healthy.

Read more of Jess’s posts here or connect with Jess here.

Get more Fibre in your diet with 180 superfood

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302171531.htm

https://experiencelife.com/article/fiber-why-it-matters-more-than-you-think/

http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/03/27/STROKEAHA.111.000151.abstract

Avocado Facts; Can I Eat Too Many & Will They Make Me Fat?

avocado facts

There are many foods that exist which cause genuine confusion amongst the health conscious. Especially when transitioning from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet, when trying to lose fat, control blood sugar and support cardiovascular health.

A food I often get many questions and concerns about is avocados. How many can I have in a day? Is it alright to consume when on a fat loss program? Will they make me fat? What will they do to my cholesterol levels?

Before we flesh out these concerns, let me introduce our special dark green leathery skinned friend. Did you know that avocados are actually large berry fruits that were aptly named “Alligator pears” due to their green, bumpy skin before it was christened the “Avocado”. The name Avocado hails from from the Aztec word “ahuacati”, meaning “testicle tree” which is kind of fitting as the ancient Aztecs considered this fruit, important for fertility and the Mayans used it as an aphrodisiac.

With introduction aside, lets flesh out the Avocado (AKA Avo’) facts and tips out…

Nuggets Full of Nutrients

  • Avo’s are one of the few fruits rich in healthy fats. It is particularly rich in monounsaturated fat (MUFA). A great energy source for the body and one that supports heart and brain health amongst other things.
  • The healthy fat content in avo’s help absorb nutrients from other foods that need fat for transportation throughout the body, such as vitamin E, carotenoids, lutein and chlorophyll.
  • Consuming avocados with carotenoid rich foods such as carrots helps enhance carotenoid absorption. Adding avo to your salads can increase your absorption of carotenoids up to five times then salads without. Carotenoids protect us from free radical damage and all the problems that may arise from it, such as inflammation and poor immunity.
  • Avos are laced with many essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin E, carotenoids, lutein, B vitamins (B5, B6), vitamin C, vitamin K and folate which contribute to deliciously vital health.
  • It’s lutein levels are higher than most fruits. Lutein is a potent carotenoid that prevents degenerative conditions of the eye and improves overall eye health. Lutein may also reduce the risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
  • Avos contain more than twice the potassium of a banana. Potassium is important for controlling the electrical activity of the heart. Potassium also helps your kidneys filter blood and supports the health of bones and muscles.
  • The greatest concentration of carotenoids or plant pigments are located close to the avo skin, in the dark green flesh. So be mindful of how you de-flesh this amazing fruit. Guidelines on how to de-flesh your avo well without losing it’s beneficial compounds are found here.

Healthy Weight Loss Maintenance

  • avocado fatAvos may help you maintain or reach a healthy weight. They are satiating, meaning they help you feel full and satisfied for longer, reducing the likelihood of unnecessary overeating. In fact, adding half an avocado with lunch has been shown to reduce hunger and improve satiety for up to 3-5 hours after consumption.
  • Avos may help regulate blood sugar levels.  Now who wouldn’t want less food cravings, a healthier, stable mood and improved sleep. Just a few benefits of balanced blood sugar.
  • Avos are loaded with more fiber than most fruit. Most of it being insoluble. Think regular, healthy bowel movements, removal of toxins, balanced blood sugar and less cravings.
  • Avos are very low in sugar/fructose. Unlike many of it’s fruit buddies. The primary sugar found in avos is D-mannoheptulose which may actually support blood sugar control and weight management.
  • MUFA rich diets help protect against belly fat and diabetic health complications.
  • Avo’s do not interfere with weight loss goals when consumed as part of a weight loss diet.
  • Avocado consumption is associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. A collection of conditions which raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • If you are struggling with weight loss, try taking our quiz here.

Assists Inflammation, Heart & Brain Health

  • It’s MUFA content helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. In fact those who consumed a high MUFA diet from avos for a week experienced a decrease in their LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and an increase in the often labelled “good” cholesterol HDL.
  • Avos may prevent the production of inflammatory substances when eaten with meals such as burgers. Studies suggest that eating avocado with inflammatory meals can reduce the after effects commonly experienced such as narrowing of blood vessels and inflammation. Now this is not your green light to go crazy on burgers and fries. Just FYI.
  • Healthy fats nourish the brain and heart and can help prevent Alzheimer’s, dementia, other degenerative brain disorders and heart disease. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain reports that the brain thrives on a fat-rich, low carbohydrate diet and that high levels of healthy fat consumption was found to be associated with a 44 percent reduction in risk for developing dementia.

Cancer Prevention

  • Avos are abundant in antioxidants and bioactive compounds such as carotenoids; lutein, zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and oleic acid and are one of the richest sources of vitamin E. These compounds are well known cancer fighters and may reduce the risk of cancers such as those of the prostate and breast. As mentioned the monounsaturated fat found in avos improve the absorption of these important carotenoids.
  • Vitamin E has been shown to slow down or stop the reproduction of cancer cells.
  • Natural sunscreen; the fat content in avos may offer protection from harmful sun damage, radiation, inflammation and skin cancer if consumed before exposure.

Beauty Tip

  • The flesh and the oil are moisturising and nourishing for the skin.

How Many Avocados Can I Eat?

As you may have guessed I am a huge fan of the avo. In my opinion all of the evidence I have come across welcomes daily avo consumption as part of a healthful diet.

As a general rule I think the inclusion of one small avocado or half a large avocado daily is a great addition to the diet of most people to promote optimal health, maintain a healthy weight, support blood sugar levels and support healthy brain and heart health. Avocados should not  be feared. Consider them creamy, delicious, protective and preventative powerhouses to be thoroughly enjoyed. I certainly do and consume at least half an avo every day, whenever possible.

There are many ways to get your daily avocado dose:

Below are some of my favourites:-

  • In a smoothie to add healthy fats, fiber and a creamy texture. Try this favourite green smoothie of mine.
  • In raw desserts such as healthy homemade ice creams or mousses.
  • Chopped and chucked onto a salad.
  • Blended with olive oil, himalayan salt, pepper and turmeric and made into a healthy anti-inflammatory dressing.
  • Made into healthy dips and spreads.
  • Blended with coconut cream to make whipped cream.
  • Side note: Avos can get a little pricey but do not fear if you can not afford to buy organic. Avos have tough,thick, protective skins which help to prevent pesticides and other chemicals from entering and contaminating its flesh. More on organic versus non organic fruits here.

I would love to hear in the comments section below how you like to get your daily avocado dose :)

lynda griparic naturopathThis article is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems. You can learn more about Lynda, CLICK HERE

The Truth About Weight Loss. 5 Things You Need to Know

weightloss facts

By Angela Greely & Tania Flack

Angela: Losing weight can be hard, if you try and follow the conventional calories in – calories out rule. As Tania says “it can be soul destroying”. This great blog post by Tania Flack a leading Nutritionist and Naturopath tells you what you need to address to achieve LONG TERM weight loss and your ideal body composition. 

 1. What seems to be the single biggest barrier for your clients?

Tania: Perhaps the biggest barrier I see to weight loss is the ability to make fundamental changes to our food culture. Our food culture is ingrained in us from early childhood and takes a lifetime to develop. Most people who grew up in Australia were raised on a diet of toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and a pasta or rice dish for dinner. Obviously, loosing weight is dependant on being able to review this type of diet and make healthier choices.

Our food culture includes basics like our ‘fall back’ recipes; these are generally the 5-10 dishes that we cook during a busy week because we know how to make them and usually have the ingredients at hand. Our comfort foods and food rituals (like pizza on a Friday night for some people) are also part of our food culture. Changing our food culture takes significant effort, however, creating a new food culture based around healthy eating is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health.

Angela: We have an awesome eBook that outlines the fundamentals that you need to know to achieve a healthy diet. Click here.

2. I have a lot of people telling me I’m eating healthily and exercising everyday and I can’t lose weight. What factors do you think they need to look at?

Tania: Once people have managed to develop a new food culture and have a healthy diet they generally achieve a healthy body weight; however, there are several hidden causes of weight retention that may cause significant problems, even when diet and exercise are perfect. Unfortunately, it is never as simple as calories in balanced with energy expended and I feel that this approach to weight management can be soul destroying for some people who have genuine reasons for weight retention. Here’s my short list of the most common blocks to weight loss.

  • Leaky gut, dysbiosis (an overgrowth of normal gut bacteria) or low-grade bacterial or parasitic gut infection (which is quite common) can cause a world of weight loss problems.
  • Genetic predisposition is also important. I use DNA testing in clinic to help develop individualized diets for people based on their genetic profile.
  • High cortisol levels also play a significant role in weight retention. When we are under stress we can produce high levels of cortisol
  • Thyroid problems
  • Toxicity levels
  • Another factor which may play a role in weight retention, specifically in women in the late 30s to early 50s age group, is changes in oestrogen

 3. How would you know if you had leaky gut or a bacterial infection?

Angela: Sign and symptoms of leaky gut or bacterial infection can be gas, bloating, IBS, food intolerances, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, mood issues, skin issues, candida…the list is endless. At the end of the day we are as good as our digestion!

Tania: I do a simple urine test at every initial appointment that gives a clear indication of dysbiosis, leaky gut and the state of the digestive health. Depending on the results of that test I may look for markers of inflammation using bioimpedance analysis or live blood analysis. Often I will refer people for a Comprehensive Stool and Digestive Analysis. This is our gold standard for gut testing and can identify a range of important gut health markers, including bacterial and parasitic infections and the levels of healthy bacteria in the gut. Treatment depends on the findings of these tests. Usually people who prove to have bacterial imbalance in the gut will start my “Leaky Gut Program” which can result in significant weight loss.

4. What should we do when our weight loss stalls?

Tania: I advise people to consult their nutritionist or naturopath so they can get a clear indication of what might be blocking weight loss. Often some professional advice and perhaps some testing to clarify the situation is all that is needed to achieve a healthy body composition.

5. What are your top 3 tips to achieving your ideal weight?

Tania:

  • Be kind to yourself, achieving and maintaining a healthy body composition should be a long-term process. Starving yourself is definitely not the answer. Give yourself a pat on the back for making healthy changes and remember the long-term dietary changes you make now might become the “Food Culture” of the next generation of your family.
  • Learn to cook! It is surprising how many health conscious people actually don’t know how to cook. This can lead to a lack of creativity in the kitchen, boredom with your ‘fall back’ dishes and temptation to go back to old food choices. Take an interest in where your food is grown and how it is produced and most importantly, take some cooking lessons – healthy food should be delicious!
  • Get some advice, if you feel like you are getting nowhere please see your health practitioner. You might be 80% of the way there already and only a few subtle tweaks to complete your weight loss journey, or you might need help getting started. There is so much confusing information out there, find out what is right for you and get some support. It can make the world of difference.

CONCLUSION

Angela: Hope that inspired you! I think a great place to start is your fall back recipes. If they aren’t healthy ones make them healthy ones. Make healthy eating/clean eating a life choice, it’s not a fad diet; it’s your key to achieving and maintaining your optimal body composition.

What’s everyone’s experience in making changes from our food culture of toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta/rice dishes for dinner?

Love to hear some weight loss achievements too?

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A Fresh Perspective on Weight Loss

holistic approach weight loss

By Cassie Mendoza-Jones

Stu – Weight loss can be confusing to say the least, how to exercise and what to eat are all common questions. We think that weight loss should be tackled as a more holistic approach in order to achieve the results you want. Our guest post from Cassie Mendoza-Jones outlines the necessary steps beautifully. Over to Cassie…

Pick up any glossy magazine and there’s a new weight loss or diet regime claiming to have you losing 5kg in 5 days (or something similarly ridiculous.)

In fact, the only way to succeed in this game is with a healthy and balanced approach. My tips will have you losing weight, keeping it off, and maintaining your sanity in the process, without the rose coloured glasses, and with a dose of reality and biochemistry (just a little bit, I promise!)

Diet is (almost) everything

healthy diet weight lossYou’ve probably heard the saying “You can’t out-train a bad diet”, and this is so true. While exercise is a crucial part of weight loss (and weight management), it’s not everything, and if you think you can eat what you want because you went to gym this morning, don’t shoot the messenger when I tell you that you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

A nourishing, whole food diet will not only help balance neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, the brain chemicals that help us feel full, happy, motivated and rewarded, but the right diet will reduce sugar cravings that may hamper even your best efforts, improve post-exercise muscle repair and recovery, and boost your energy.

However, exercise is also vital in any weight loss program. Apart from the many benefits exercise associated with exercise, the fitter you become, the more effectively your body mobilises stored fat cells for energy, therefore increasing fat burning. Exercise is also an amazing natural short-term appetite suppressant. The good news is that if you workout in the morning, research shows that you don’t actually become hungrier and over-eat later in the day to compensate for the energy spent exercising, which means any post exercise over-indulgence is more likely a mental thing, and not physiologically induced!

If you can’t keep track of what and how much you’re eating, keep a diet diary. Research shows that people who fill out a diet diary lose weight without even being told to change their diet. Increasing awareness around food intake is sometimes enough to decrease portion sizes.

The post-exercise eating window

exercise window weight lossOne of the most crucial times to eat to help with fat loss is within the hour after you train. Doing a hard session and then skipping your post-workout snack or meal may be the worst mistake you can make when trying to lose weight. Extended exercise depletes muscle glycogen, or carbohydrate stores. By not replenishing depleted glycogen stores within at least 2 hours (30-45mins is the ideal though), your muscles, starving for fuel, can actually become insulin resistant for up to 16 hours post-exercise. This means that fat loss switches off, recovery stalls, hormones do not balance, and food is not used for fuel (meaning, it’s more likely to be stored as fat).

A 2004 study by Deakin University also found that depleted glycogen stores lead to muscle fatigue, insulin resistance, changes in gene transcription, as well as changes in metabolic processes such as the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates, including protein degradation or breakdown. Kind of sounds like everything we don’t want to happen, right?

Carbs can (and should) be included in a healthy and effective weight loss plan. The key is eating the right carbs, at the right time, in the right amounts, and finding the carbs that work for you. This means you might choose some fruit, vegetables, starchy vegetables or even (gasp!) grains, if you can tolerate them and if you’re training hard enough. Examples include fruit and nuts, a protein shake with some oats or banana, some chicken and sweet potato, salmon and quinoa or eggs and sourdough toast.

Research actually shows that high GI carbs are a better option than low GI carbs for the post-exercise meal (as they’re absorbed faster), plus no more than 20g of protein. Refueling your body this way will help to repair damaged tissues, support your immune function and move the body from a catabolic (break-down) state, to an anabolic (growth and maintenance) state.

The fat burning zone

fat burning zone weight lossThere’s an ongoing debate about whether the best exercise for fat loss is long sessions of low intensity aerobic work, such as long walks, or short bursts of high intensity exercise, such as interval training.

The truth is, to lose body fat you need to do a combination of both low intensity and high intensity exercise. This is because in essence, at low intensity exercise, the body chooses fat as the main substrate (fuel) to burn, even though it takes a while to get into that fat-burning zone (40mins+), while high intensity burns through more calories and stored carbohydrate in a shorter time-frame (usually within 20-30mins).

Another tip is to exercise in a fasted state, if suits your body, and you’re not exercising for more than 60-90mins (in which case carb loading is recommended). By exercising on an empty stomach, your body adapts and starts to burn fat more efficiently. Appropriate post-exercise refueling (remember, this means carbs and protein), will help to increase insulin sensitivity and activate muscle-growth pathways in the body. If exercising on an empty stomach makes you feel weak and nauseas have a little carbohydrate like a half a banana or a date before training. Basically, just make sure you’re exercising! If you’re not sure how to get started, find a trainer you trust, and get them to create an exercise program for you.

Re-train your brain

train brain weight lossSo often we become addicted to negative thoughts that we feel are our reality. So what if you tried to lose a few kilos once upon a time and couldn’t get down to your goal weight? Big deal. There’s no such thing as perfection, only excellence, and you need to believe in yourself that you are capable of change. Remember, failure isn’t finite, motivation isn’t forever, and consistency is key.

Don’t rely on motivation to get you to the gym, or to help you swap bread for broccoli. Motivation is an emotion just like happiness, sadness or excitement. We don’t feel the same emotion all day everyday. Humans just aren’t built like that. We can, however, be consistent in our exercise and meal planning, whether or not we feel motivated. This is what gets you up for training, this is what helps you make healthy meals, and this is what gets results. Try it; it works.

Support your thyroid

thyroid weight lossYour thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of your neck. The main function of the thyroid is to produce hormones that regulate metabolism, energy, cell growth and body temperature. For varying reasons, sometimes the thyroid becomes underactive (hypothyroidism) and may slow down the metabolism and make weight loss difficult. Fatigue, weight gain, cold extremities and depression are another sign of an underactive thyroid.

The first step is to make an appointment with your doc or a naturopath for a blood test to check what’s going on, but often this is an overlooked cause of otherwise unexplained weight gain or a real difficulty losing weight. Depending on the health of this crucial gland, there are beautiful herbs and nutrients to help support your thyroid and boost your metabolism such as zinc, selenium, vitamin D, iodine,

Withania and Rhodiola. A balanced diet is also crucial in order to support healthy thyroid function. For example, the thyroid hormone T4 needs selenium (found in nuts, seafood and eggs) to convert to the more active hormone T3, and zinc (found in nuts, seeds, seafood and meat) is needed for the cells to actually take up the hormone for use.

Natural support

natural herbs weight lossWhile diet and exercise are the most important weight loss aids in your tool kit, there are numerous natural supportive agents to help your journey. Gymnema is an Ayurvedic herb, which reduces sugar cravings, and almost tricks the body into thinking it’s had enough sugar, so your cravings reduce or may completely disappear. Fenugreek and Globe artichoke assist in fat metabolism, bitter melon boosts the metabolism and reduces insulin resistance, as does Goat’s rue (from which the diabetic medication Metformin is derived). Vitamin C will also boost the metabolism, and chromium and alpha-lipoic acid are two other nutrients which help to reduce sugar cravings and improve metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance states.

About the author

Cassie Mendoza JonesCassie Mendoza-Jones is a naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist who believes in the healing power of nature. Cassie founded Elevate Vitality, a boutique naturopathic clinic in the heart of Bondi Beach, to help people find their healthiest self, and is the author of Cleansed, a simple program for a life of health, ease and abundance. You can find her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram , as well as writing articles and recipes for her blog.

Cassie is qualified in Naturopathy, Nutritional Medicine, Western Herbal Medicine and Touch For Health Kinesiology. She is currently furthering her studies in Kinesiology, as well as a Master of Human Nutrition at Deakin University.

Did you enjoy this post? What have been your weight loss experiences? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below… Stu

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Weight loss, protein supplements & 180 Nutrition: The podcast

Pod_cast

By Guy Lawrence

Last week we caught up with the lovely ladies Donna & Tora who are pretty savvy in the world of weight loss. They have both been through their own personal journeys when it comes to weight management, with Donna at one stage being 30kg over weight and Tora struggled with an eating disorder and weighed just 37kg!

When you meet them now they are both excellent examples of fine health.  They are putting many wrongs to right when it comes to weight management by drawing from many of their own personal life experiences, and are now starting to make it freely available for others too.

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To do this the girls are hosting a Weight Matters tele-seminar series focusing on weight loss advice for savvy people.

This seminar series is run once a month for one hour, and they kicked off their first episode featuring yep…  yours truly and business partner Stu.

What we cover in the podcast:

  • What is healthy eating?
  • Handy tips for weight loss
  • Why many supplements are doing you more harm than good
  • What to look for when reading food labels
  • Quick & easy healthy breakfast alternatives
  • Why we are more than just a protein supplement
  • How to ease sugar cravings
  • How to use 180 protein supplement to aid weight loss
  • How 180 Nutrition started
  • And much more… More

Are diet sodas a healthy choice?

Diet Soda Health Risks

By Guy Lawrence

“They may be free of calories but not of consequences.” - Professor Helen Hazuda speaking on diet soda.

After knocking the wind out of my mates sails regarding his healthy fruit salad and apple juice (click here if you’ve no idea what I’m on about), the next topic that came up on the radar was his diet soft drink. You see, the next logical step for my friend to take whilst on his weight loss plan was to be drinking the ‘diet’ stuff instead of  ‘normal’ stuff.

I mean, if a soft drink has the word ‘diet’, ‘sugar free’ or ‘low cal’ etc… It’s got to be healthy for you right?

His new found enthusiasim for his health and weight loss plan had already taken a dent regarding fruit and sugar, so I understood the switch to sugar free soft drinks. After he finished guzzling down his cold can on a sunny day I said one word to him… Aspartame.

In a nutshell, this was my response…
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3 reasons why we eat grass fed beef & use grass fed Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)

grass fed WPI whey protein isolate
By Guy Lawrence

Think of this for a moment… would it be fair to say that the better the quality of food we eat daily, the better the quality of our overall health? Common sense really.

Does it matter what the cow eats?

Does the same apply to the living food we end up eating? When taking a look at the cow, we can easily assume the better the quality of food they eat on a daily basis, then the better the quality of them? Yep… No brainer really and pretty hard to argue.

When you are consuming a food source derived from cattle, I’m sure you would agree that quality is a major factor. But before we start to look at the differences between grass fed WPI whey protein isolate and corn fed regular whey protein, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The first question that springs to my mind is:

Why are farmers feeding their cattle corn in the first place?

I remember growing up in school with my teacher telling me that cows ate grass. Maybe she got it wrong!

1. Watch this video

Below is a clip from the movie Food Inc. If you have not seen this movie I would highly recommend it. Just give yourself five minutes of your time and you will begin to build an image of the bigger picture and why we only use grass fed WPI Whey Protein Isolate at 180 Nutrition.

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