Beat the 3pm slump

HEALTH:

It’s a modern day phenomena; even when you’ve eaten well all day, you still find yourself craving something sweet to perk you up in the afternoon.

So how can you beat the 3pm slump and stay energised all afternoon without breaking your diet?

EXERCISE:Nuts-various-edible2

If you’re struggling with cravings, try changing your environment by getting up and doing some exercise.

Physical activity not only helps to relieve stress and fatigue (common junk food triggers), but it also improves inhibitory control within the brain which can help regulate how likely you are to give in to cravings. So get up and go for a walk; you might be surprised by how quickly the sugar craving evaporates.

NUTRITION:

Be prepared! If it gets to 3pm & you’ve nothing left nutritious left to eat, you’ll be far more inclined to seek out sweet treats.

Remove all temptation and keep a steady supply of healthy snacks in your bag or desk drawer to ensure you’re never caught short. Fresh fruit, vegetable crudities and containers of unsalted nuts & seeds are particularly good choices.

© Sarah West Nutrition

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Lasting weight loss

HEALTH:

How many times have you gone on a diet? And more to the point, how many times have you gone off a diet?

More than 80% of people who lose weight will regain it – and sometimes more – within two years. So forget unrealistic, fad diets; if you want to sustain your weight loss it’s time to commit to some sensible, life-long changes.

EXERCISE:

weightloss3Studies show that people who lose weight and keep it off long-term tend to participate in regular physical activity.

To help keep it up, avoid starting with unrealistic expectations. Instead, try setting yourself smaller, more realistic goals that will continually spur you on and encourage you to keep going. After all, exercise should be a journey and not a destination.

NUTRITION:

People get drawn into restrictive, quick-fix diets with the promise of rapid weight loss. However, if you want results that will stick you need to reconsider the notion of healthy eating merely as a temporary fix.

Instead, think about what you’re doing as a permanent lifestyle shift; your attitude should be “This is how I eat now”. A sensible, balanced diet that you can sustain over time will lead to real, long-term results.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Smart snacking

HEALTH:

The office environment can present many triggers for bad eating habits. With many of us spending between 8 and 10 hours at our desk each working day, it is no great surprise that office workers can consume around 650 additional calories each day through snacking alone.

Try the following tips to help keep you on the straight and narrow:

EXERCISE:

If you do find yourself snacking throughout the morning, make sure there’s a trade off. So if you have a chocolate biscuit or several spoons of sugar with your 11am tea, commit to a brisk 15 minute walk at lunchtime or make an extra effort to get to the gym after work.184225440977270118_Q3kM8EPK_c1

Exercise not only burns calories but it also help encourage you to eat less and make healthier food choices, so it’s a great habit to get into.

NUTRITION:

One of the keys to maintaining good eating habits during the day is to start with a nutritious breakfast (and grabbing a croissant en route doesn’t count).

Cereal and porridge are popular choices; try topping them with natural yoghurt plus nuts and seeds to boost the protein content and it’ll help keep you going till lunchtime, temptation free.

© Sarah West Nutrition

 

Don’t go hungry

HEALTH:

Being healthy is not neccessarily about eating less. Whilst it’s important to watch your calorie intake, eating too little or too irregularly can lead to dizziness, low mood and fatigue. It can also hinder your progress by causing cravings and the urge to overeat.

By ensuring that you are regularly supplying your body with good quality nutrition throughout the day you will see far better results in the gym and feel better for it too.

EXERCISE:

Exercising without adequate fuel is like trying to drive a car with no petrol. Food eaten before exercise should be 1relatively low in fat and fibre, moderate in protein and high in carbohydrate in order to maximize maintenance of blood glucose (and therefore energy levels).

After exercise your dietary goals are to provide adequate fluids plus protein and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and promote recovery.

NUTRITION:

An ideal pre-workout snack is a banana and a couple of oatcakes; this will give you a boost of energy without weighing you down.

Post-gym, try a chicken sandwich on wholemeal bread or a smoothie prepared with a handful of fresh or frozen berries, live yogurt, ice cold milk and some ground flaxseeds.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Are you addicted?

HEALTH:

Scientists have found that over consumption of high-calorie food actually triggers an addiction-like response in the brain, encouraging people to crave even more sugar, salt-laden food.

If this sounds familiar, how can you break the cycle?

EXERCISE:

If you’re struggling with cravings, try changing your environment and doing something positive for yourself that will make you feel good.

478859372848550489_N8JygsMs_cA trip to the gym is ideal as it will not only relieve stress (another common junk food trigger) but can cause you to feel less hungry and more emotionally satisfied. You might be surprised at how quickly the craving evaporates.

NUTRITION:

Food combinations that include high amounts of salt and sugar are more stimulating, meaning that most people can’t limit themselves to suitable portions.

Foods that won’t trigger cravings are those that occur in nature, such as high fibre complex carbohydrates (i.e. wholegrains and vegetables) plus protein and small amounts of fat. By sticking to more natural foods you will find you feel much more in control of your choices.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Water = weight loss?

HEALTH:

It’s a popular dieting tip: drink more water and you’ll shed extra pounds. Sounds simple enough, but does it really work?

Studies have supported the idea, showing that overweight people who drink two cups of water half an hour before each meal eat 75 fewer daily calories and lose 5 pounds more than those who don’t. Water drinkers are also shown to be more likely to keep the weight off long term.

EXERCISE:

Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but those who exercise regularly have an even greater need to keep drinking. Research has shown that losing as little as 2% percent of your body weight through sweating creates 3a drop in blood volume, causing the heart to work harder to circulate blood.

A drop in blood volume can also lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue and heat stroke, making adequate water intake essential for comfort, performance and safety when exercising. So to get the best results in the gym, never go thirsty.

NUTRITION:

Water is no magic potion; it is believed to help people shed pounds simply because it contains no calories and fills up the stomach, making you feel less hungry and less inclined to overeat.

However, drinking more water also stops people from reaching for high-calorie, sugar-filled beverages; and the fewer calories you get from drinks, the healthier (and slimmer) you’ll be. It all counts!

© Sarah West Nutrition

In the genes

HEALTH:

Blaming your weight on genetics can seem a good way to dismiss all responsibility towards it. However, while your genes can determine where and how easily fat is stored, long term weight gain is far more likely to be the result of individual lifestyle factors.

EXERCISE:

The only way you’ll lose weight successfully is to accept responsibility for yourself and acknowledge that you do have the power to get in shape, regardless what mother nature has given you
to work with.

1Regular physical activity can help you to burn calories, boost your metabolism and increase self-esteem, whatever your genetic make-up.

NUTRITION:

Believing you are destined to be overweight is a very disempowering and self-defeating attitude. Whilst we inherit certain genes from our parents, we often inherit dietary habits too – which can have just as much impact.

Try keeping a food diary to help identify any particular areas of weakness that might be preventing you from making progress.

© Sarah West Nutrition

The dangers of detox

HEALTH:

Thinking of embarking on a detox diet to boost your health and wellbeing? Before you do, it’s time to cleanse you of the concept that we need to be periodically detoxified.

Strict diets might claim to rid your system of toxins, but your body already does that job for you; working to break down what goes in, absorb the good and excrete the not so good. No diet required!

EXERCISE:

The skin is the body’s largest organ and plays a large part in helping the body stay healthy, through perspiration.

Lemon-detox-logo-tinWorking up a sweat helps your internal organs stay cool by lowering your overall body temperature and aids with the removal of toxins from the body through the skin. So if you want a quick ‘detox’ fix, try sweating it out at the gym.

NUTRITION:

Restricting your food consumption limits intake of energy and important nutrients needed for good health, which can cause unhealthy side effects such as headaches, dizziness and low energy.

If you want to maintain optimal health then the best approach is a balanced diet containing a variety of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, plenty of wholegrain cereals, lean meat and fish (or vegetarian alternatives) plus low-fat dairy products.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Eat, drink and be merry

HEALTH:

On Christmas Day it can be hard to stay healthy. The average Christmas dinner contains over 1,400 calories; 70% of the total calorie intake for an adult woman and over half the amount for an adult man. So what can you do to limit the damage?

EXERCISE:

Make physical activity a priority, wherever you are. On Christmas Day, why not try energetic traditional family games (such as Charades or Twister) or get 5interactive with the Nintendo Wii and Xbox connect.

You’ll have fun, involve everyone and help raise your heart rate at the same time.

NUTRITION:

The occasional slip-up is inevitable, particularly when you’re surrounded by indulgent food and drink. So if you do end up eating a little more than you intended this Christmas, go easy on yourself.

One day of overindulgence is not worth beating yourself up over; simply reaffirm your goals and start afresh the next day.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Happy, healthy holidays

HEALTH:

The festive season is traditionally a calorific extravaganza. With party food all around and alcohol flowing freely it can be a real challenge to keep up with good nutrition and exercise habits during the month of December.

However, there’s no need to throw in the towel: these tips will help you to enjoy yourself over the Christmas period whilst still remaining fit and healthy throughout.

EXERCISE:

An increase in social events can make it hard to keep to your gym routine as regularly as you might the rest of the year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep fit and healthy.

1Take every opportunity to dance at parties or invite your partner/friends to go dancing over the holidays. You’ll have fun and it’ll still be great exercise; dancing uses up between 270 and 540 calories an hour depending on the speed.

NUTRITION:

If you’re invited to a friend or family member’s house for a pre-Christmas meal, ask if you can bring one of your own healthy dishes (such as oven roasted broccoli with garlic or braised red cabbage) to help out.

Filling up on delicious fresh vegetables will provide you with a rainbow of nutrients whilst ensuring that you are less likely to go overboard on everything else.

© Sarah West Nutrition