So here is the thing, I’ve spent the best part of my adult life studying nutrition and exercise, and I can honestly say while I have loved it, it runs a distant second to when I get to eat! I mean I’ve heard the saying foodie before and am often asked if I am, the truth is I jut I love eating! I think about breakfast before I go to sleep at night and after breakfast, I’m thinking of my next meal or even a cheeky coffee.
There isn’t much I don’t like or won’t try, travelling is more about tasting than it is seeing for me and the phrase food envy summarises most dining out experiences of mine.
There was a game-changer for my health and my dining experience which what I like to call the “satisfied versus full” battle. A secret weapon in this battle is our little mate fibre who allows us to have our carbs and eat them too!
Satisfied is that point where you have eaten till your content. You’ve taken some time to eat your meal, physiologically we have filled our stomach, and the stretch receptors have enough time to tell our brains we are satisfied.
Full is where the stomach is at capacity – the red no vacancy sign is glowing across your stomach, and you’re regretting the last ten mouthfuls of whatever deliciousness you’ve just devoured.
Here is the deal though, the average human stomach can hold about 1L and can swell up to 3L with a bit of effort. A pretty useful survival mechanism when our ancestors were hunting and moving but with our mate Kelvinator now apart of all of our villages, we don’t need that ability any more.
So what is the trick, veggies! I know you just sighed, I suckered you in with sweet talk about eating to contentment and thoughts of food even threw in a line about Kelvinator, and now I’m just another Dietitian promoting veggies. Yeah, you’re right I am…but for a different reason.
You see using spices and herbs; most veggies come up a treat, there the basis of close to 50% of most plates recommended AND THEIR FILLING!
I’m in a real pumpkin craze at the moment. I won’t bore you with the micronutrient profile and spruik its benefits, but with some olive oil drizzled and cinnamon, it makes a seriously healthy backbone of any lunch or dinner.
Fibre in the form of veggies is hard work for our digestive system to work through. That work is what keeps us satisfied for longer and does a lot of good work in diversifying our gut microbiome. There is a catch though; chips don’t count as vegetables…make sure the kids know that! Don’t forget your mate fibre, clearly define in your head satisfied versus full and take time when you eat, allow your brain to recognise satisfaction!
Say hi to your Green Grocer for me.
to the man with the eyes bigger than his stomach
It’s the end of another long day. You’re on the way to the gym and your eyes are heavy. You think to yourself, “A 30-minute power nap would probably benefit me more than this,” but you drag yourself there anyway because after all, you’re paying for it. It’s an extra 30 minutes of travel (which is on a good day) just to get to and from the gym, but you tell yourself this is what everyone has to do right?
You finally find a car park and walk in, the last thing on your mind is engaging in fake pleasantries with the desk person. You get into the change room and the floor is wet with water and sweat, the air thick with other people’s smell, and to top it off, there is nakedness you didn’t really feel like seeing less than 30 centimetres away from you.
You exit the biosphere that is the gym change room at a walk sprint. Patience is now at an all-time low. To your complete lack of surprise, all the machines you need are being used. So, you wait…more time out of your day that you don’t have.
We’ve all been there. We all know what that feeling is like and yet we push through it, telling ourselves that this is just what we have to do when it comes to ticking off the exercise box for the day. I can tell you one thing for sure friends, it most certainly doesn’t need to be this hard, nor should it. Exercise or moving should be easy, accessible and (god forbid) fun! If it is, it will become as much a part of your day and your routine as brushing your teeth.
When something becomes routine, and I mean truly routine, it doesn’t require effort or mountains of mental preparation to get through. Along with that, it also is then guaranteed to be done for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. Imagine that, no more 12 week challenges and diets. Why? Because you do it already.
So how and what am I talking about? Well as an example – did you know that exercising in nature has benefits that go above and beyond the benefits you gain by exercising indoors? Research has shown improvements in mental well-being, self-esteem, depression and even our immune system. Personally, I’ve found that when I run outside, I experience a completely different level of stress relief opposed to running on a treadmill.
So how does one transition from the safe routine and system that is the world of gyms? Well, you could do it by yourself, but unless you’re an exercise professional, chances are you’ll struggle initially and miss the ease of floating from machine to machine or class to class in the gym. Some of the best results I’ve achieved are in the garages or home gym environments of friends. Not only are they free and close to home, but you get the social benefits as well. You’ll also train with more intensity when required because friends motivate each other in a way that we struggle to individually.
“What we try to create is an environment that is supportive and makes exercise and movement something that doesn’t need to be associated with going to the gym. Yes we’ve got all the equipment needed, whether it’s for strength and conditioning or pre and post natal exercise and fitness, but it’s done in a supportive and personal environment that you would experience if one of your mates was a personal trainer with a gym under their house.” – Amy, Your Fit.
Your Fit offer a range of nutritional and fitness programs, information and training. With the combination of a variety of qualifications and experience, the combination of Sean and Amy’s backgrounds means all the possible bases are covered. On top of that you walk into their home and train, just as you would a friend of yours.
“These types of personal environments are so much more beneficial in terms of consistency and results. Number one, you stop associating exercise with only negative emotions, meaning you don’t need to motivate yourself for every rep, we’re here for that, you just turn up. And two, everything we give you is able to be taken home with you and made part of your daily routine. Whether it’s an exercise program or nutritional advice, we’re here for the long term and personalise your program to make sure that happens. Whether it’s implementing something that will last for the rest of your life, or helping you train for a specific event, the environment you walk into at Your Fit is personal, and that’s what we need as human beings. Real relationships to succeed,” says Amy.
In the long term, if we want to truly make exercise part of our everyday lives, it shouldn’t cost anything emotionally. It should be a positive experience and sometimes you just need someone to show you that path.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, give us a call!
The keto diet was one of the most googled health terms in Australia during the last three months. Recently, there has been a massive push in the weight loss space towards this diet regime by supplement companies and social media influencers. The question is, will it work for you? To answer that, we need to address why the other diets haven’t worked?
The keto, short for ‘ketogenic diet,’ is all about minimising your carbs and upping your healthy fats to get your body to use fat as a form of energy. While everyone’s body and needs are slightly different, that typically translates to 60-75% of your calories from fat, 15-30% of your calories from protein, and 5-10% of your calories from carbs.
In short, ketosis is a process where we convert fat into glucose, aka energy. It’s a pretty complicated mechanism involving things in our bodies called ketones and requires a lot of counting of the net carbs per 100 grams of all the food you eat. Unfortunately, in a lot of instances, the science has been ‘sexied’ up to sell the diet without giving people the information, or support, they need to achieve long term results. A common trend when it comes to the ‘selling’ of diets.
In the short term, as a weight loss strategy, the keto diet does in fact work. As will any diet that involves lowering one’s calorie intake. However, as is the case with all diets, there is little evidence things will work out long term. This isn’t the fault of the diet, rather it is due to a range of individual and societal factors we’re faced with today – upbringing and relationship to food, ability to maintain a changed eating program, personal resilience, access to and cost of healthy food options, etc. In other words, because of the perceived effort it takes to achieve a particular diet, the diet itself can quickly become something that is just too hard to maintain for most people.
How did we get to this point? Well, in a nutshell, it’s because we’re too smart for our own good…
Our drastic evolution as a species in the last few hundred years has meant we are able to farm, produce, package and transport foods more efficiently than ever before. A fairly new phenomenon that has unfortunately resulted in most of the food in our grocery store and restaurants, being void of nutrition and cheaper than healthier whole food options. Our effectiveness at being able to feed ourselves comes at a cost…most of the food options available to us, are not actually good for us.
Along with that, unhealthy food options are shoved in our faces every day. Whether it’s on our televisions, phones, in the grocery store itself, at work, at the restaurants we frequent or on our friend’s dinner tables…food that has minimal nutritional benefit to our bodies is in front of us all the time. Making something like sticking to a healthy eating plan, an extremely difficult proposition to achieve.
Our poor nutritional intake is ironically coupled with the fact that we’ve also never been as busy in our daily lives as we are right now. We have hundreds of demands placed on us every day, resulting in a natural drain on our concentration levels and ability to carry out the tasks we need to. Like running a car on dodgy fuel, our poor diets only serve to make our lives more difficult than they need to be. The car goes, just not as quick or as smoothly as it could, requiring more services than it should.
A good example of how poor nutrition and lifestyle manifests is something we’ve all felt but shouldn’t…the dreaded 3:30-itis. We know it well. It’s mid-afternoon. You’re starving. You need to perform a task that you would usually be able to do with your eyes closed, but in this moment, you couldn’t do it if someone pointed a gun at you.
There are a lot of reasons this type of fatigue and hunger sets in. Maybe you are anxious about an issue in your life and haven’t been sleeping correctly? Maybe you’re starting to become unwell and need time off? 99% of the time, however, it is because we made a lifestyle decision that we thought was ok to do, and now we’re paying for it. We skipped breakfast that morning and thought, “I’ll be right.” Well yes, you’ll live if that’s what you’re saying. It just won’t be at the level you could be living.
When you’re in this state, your body does a number of things. Hormones send messages to your brain that are related to our survival processes. An evolutionary response mechanism that drives us to hunt for sustenance, ensuring our survival. Unfortunately, our advancement as a species happened at such a speed our biological systems didn’t quite have the time to change and adapt. I mean, it would be great if chocolate cake was good for us. But it isn’t. Not yet anyway.
All this leads us to mismanage things like diets and exercise regimes. Mismanaging the keto diet, like any diet, can often result in binge type eating. Whole packets of Tim Tams or Oreos can disappear in a few minutes because we are in ‘survival’ mode. This then overloads our systems with large amounts of things like sugar and refined carbohydrates, giving us a short-term boost but long-term ill effects, such as extreme fatigue and ongoing hunger. This type of eating can also see stimulants, such as coffee and energy drinks, overused in order to chase additional boosts of fake energy. The cycle is difficult to break and extremely damaging on bodies which are not designed to process those types of substances at those levels.
So, with the focus back on what we need to do to try and optimise our general health and wellbeing, it’s clearly important to understand that we need to make space in our day to address our nutritional requirements and needs. Whether it’s going the keto route, the vegan route or the low carb route, not giving our bodies nutritious foods has a cascading effect on our eating processes and general output as a human being. Simply put – make time to eat nutritious meals three times a day and get a decent sleep every night. Couple that with regular movement and exercise and you will almost immediately increase things like energy levels and concentration. Correspondingly, things like the terrifying 3pm starvation zombie crisis will decrease.
Our bodies are designed to run that way…give them the right fuel, let them move and you will get more miles out of them.
Give us a call if you’d like to talk nutrition & diet further!
The most useless place… the weighting place …. this is for anyone constantly worried about your weight
Motivation, Inspiration and positive self-talk all have their place. I am a firm believer in their role in assisting us through moments of confusion and chaos that are inevitable living in the ‘age of overwhelming’. One of the greatest assets we can create, (an asset defined as something that provides for us, not a liability one that takes from us), is our environment. If we can take responsibility for the design of our surroundings, suddenly things we never thought of, become possible. Something you have longed for and wanted may be within your grasp that doesn’t rely on other people because we have a process in place. We have engineered your environment to execute the plan. Let’s take a closer look at my favourite environments, The Kitchen.
The kitchen is the home of food and prep, the foundation for good or the temptress of evil right! We can be a saint, or we can be a glutton. The fridge is usually the first port of call in the pursuit of something delicious, the weird thing I find is that all the best foods for us end up in the crisper out of sight and out of mind. Let’s be honest by the time the rest of the food is gone then and only then do we go there when its contents are anything but crisp. May as well call it the flopper or maybe not :(! Some dehydrated, lifeless celery anyone??
There was a prominent study in the 2000’s they looked at a workplace where food was made available to employees in a kitchen style environment. Imagine a 24/7 hub that was stocked for employees to have their daily meals and snacks. The study never changed any items in the kitchen but manipulated their placement within the kitchen. All soft drinks went to the bottom of the fridge and were replaced by water at the eye-level. We eat with our eyes remember, that’s why the eye-level shelf is where the war begins in our supermarkets! Maybe there is an advantage to be shorter than average height after all! Damn genetics!
Anyway, I digress, back to work; they placed all the ‘ready-made snack’ options such as biscuits, chocolate and chips into solid white tubs while placing fruit into transparent containers. The numbers stacked up. Firstly, they reduced the consumption of soft drink by over 10% and those nasty ‘ready-made snacks’ by more than a quarter. Why? People had to consciously go out of their way to perform what had become an automatic behaviour. Suddenly it required thought, they made the unconscious, conscious, and that meant people no longer consumed as much. Think about how hard it is to smoke in Australia now compared to the ’90s. You have to practical perform a 400m relay with a lighter in hand, and a Winnie Blue behind your ear takes some determination right!
In your home or workplace right now there would be several opportunities for you to design the way you want to, toward your goal.
Think about daily life and the goal you're chasing?
What does it look like?
What does your fridge look like?
What would your pantry look like?
What would your bedroom look like?
One young mum I work with made a blanket rule, no more eating in the car! On her way home from work it had become automatic to smack down a packet or 2 of salt and vinegar chips. If you think about this for a second; for a young mum, her car may be the only time she gets to herself. Running herself between work and home from one responsibility to another. It made a lot of sense that this was her time to zone out from her ‘being on’. So, we set her a challenge, no more eating, but you have to dance and sing your way home in the car. Music was her outlet she loved Taylor Swift so every afternoon instead of getting a dry mouth from salt and vinegar she would have a Taylor Swift concert in her car. We made a daily KPI for her to tell me how many funny looks she got at traffic lights… the results were phenomenal! Not only did she feel more energised; after two weeks, she hadn’t had a single packet of chips.
Next steps, think about your opportunity points and automatic behaviours and if you see a chick at the traffic lights ‘shakin it off’… cut the sister some slack!
Yours in health
Let’s imagine for a moment; you lose that extra 5kg you’ve been dying to get rid of. You magically overnight wake up the weight you have always wanted to be, that majestic number that has always eluded you. These quests for such numbers bring with them a huge promise! Happiness is yours when your that size, right? If your pursuit of health is all about a particular figure, you are setting yourself up for a moment of happiness after a long battle. One of my favourite personalities, Derek Sivers, describes happiness as “a moment of comparison between before and now and then it’s gone”. Perhaps ask a further question when obsessing over the numbers that you are, what does they represent? If for example, Mrs Ex got down to her magical 60kg figure and was wearing size 10, what does that mean? What does your life look like in that picture?
What are you doing differently there that you’re not doing now?
That elusive number meshes with some memory from a previous picture of health. A conclusion you drew in high school, or maybe it has been the number someone told you, you SHOULD be.
Whatever the fascination, the figure is lying to you, you don’t suddenly have everything together once you starve yourself down 5kg. Your pursuit of the scale has become the latest focus point on the long list of the “I’m not good enough stories” and “I just need to…” script. When we break this down the number on the scale isn’t what people are chasing. They are telling themselves that by getting to this figure, I will be able to (insert the story of your choice here). Perhaps it’s these KPI’s we should be looking at an individual health.
One thing we do measure in health is quality of life (QOL). QOL is used as a guide when assessing the impact of chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Moving from Type 2 Diabetes to insulin-dependent diabetes (requiring injections of insulin around meals) significantly impacts QOL. What if we looked at this in the wellness space, what if weight loss or a particular size became a by-product of living a higher QOL of life. The life you picture at a certain weight. Imagine waking up tomorrow and living that life! Screw that, don’t imagine, live it!