I have learned over the last decade+ of being not just a PT, nor just an Exercise Physiologist, but a lifestyle coach, that we are about to enter into a dark time for healthy exercise behaviours:
Those that stuck to their NY resolutions may be in full swing and kicking some serious goals (hopefully this is you!), or perhaps starting to struggle with their choices… and I tend to find that Easter, with all its temptations, can be a good habit breaking time. Lets face it, the time changes making dark earlier, its getting a bit cooler, we get a few sleep ins, a few meals with friends, and yes… those sin provoking hot-cross buns!!! arghhh… who can resist them??!! We just had our first soup for the year at the Martins for dinner tonight… we are starting to cross over into winter behaviours, and these are never great for our body composition and associated health, right??
So here are a few tips to ensure that you keep going right through Easter into a healthy winter:
- No behaviours are inevitable. They are choices. make some good ones!
- Winter need not be the time to create a warmth layer out of body fat. That’s what clothes are for!
- Think of winter as your pre-season. Use it to get an advantage. Start today.
- Have a hot-cross bun. I will. But exchange your normal grains serve for it. Don’t have your normal toast for breakfast, and then have the buns as extras on top of your normal calorie intake.
- Include more play time. You have an extra long weekend. Spend some of that extra time playing with your kids, friends, even neighbours! great time to get to know them…. now, now, don’t be TOO competitive!
- Follow Tim Ferris’ advice and have a cheat day. You are going to be surrounded by chocolates, buns and other delicious and tempting foods. So give yourself a 24hr window to treat yourself. then get back on the band-wagon.
Ok, see how you go with that, and we’ll touch base on the other side of Easter and explore winter health in a bit more detail.
I have this conversation with clients at least once a week, so I thought I’d share it here for you as well. Now, while I’m an Exercise Physiologist (and not a dietician), the majority of our clients ask about dietary advice, as it’s part of the lifestyle behaviours that we often coach our clients through. We make sure that our advice stays within the scope of sharing general principles about food, supported by research from biochemistry and physiology.
So the question of ‘carbs’ intake comes up very often, as the message that a diet ‘lower in carbs’ leads to greater weight loss is well spread. This is the type of eating that I also stick to, for a number of reasons that I’ll get into later. But for now I want to address a significant part of this discussion that is often overlooked: The glycemic load (GL). Now, most people are aware of the glycemic index (GI), which relates to how quickly a food containing carbohydrate raises blood-glucose levels, depending on the type of carbohydrate chain involved. Typically, the quicker a food’s carbohydrate is broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream, the higher the GI.
The glycemic load estimates how much (rather than how fast) the food will raise a person’s blood glucose(sugar) levels after eating it. So it incorporates the GI, but very importantly, it also depends on the AMOUNT of carbohydrates the food contains!
So while a dark bread has a low glycemic index, due to the complexity of the carb chains, it has a high glycemic load, due to the many and long carbohydrate chains in it! So it provides a LOT of carbohydrate and calories. While the insulin spike won’t be high, it will be prolonged. its a slow cooker! In contrast, most vegetables will be both low GI and low GL, a perfect combination! in addition, they’ll be high in nutrient value (vitamins and minerals) as well as relatively lower in calories.
So don’t want to avoid carbs, but be aware of the total LOAD of the carbs you are eating, and make sure these match your personal energy requirements! LOAD up on the veges, and perhaps reduce the bread!
Ok, I’m not going to berate you. I think its pretty normal that by now, the end of January, you have probably not continued with your New Years Resolution. After all, we know that 88% of people are in the same boat!
But why does this keep happening year after year?
There are some common mistakes that we see made time after time, so here are a few tips on how to fix them: (more…)
So to burn more fat you need to work at lower intensities in the “fat burning zone” right??
This is probably the number one exercise myth that despite it’s lack of evidence never seems to be truly debunked.
You still even see on the cardio gym equipment to this day heart rate graphs of the optimal zone to burn fat, implying that if you stick in this low zone you’ll lose more weight.
I am hoping that the evidence I am about to show you will debunk this myth once and for all. (more…)
Damn it’s cold outside! This was my thought as my knuckles were becoming numb on a frosty Adelaide Hills’ morning on my regular run!
We are all no doubt struggling through some of these colder months, so I thought this was the perfect time to talk about how our body’s natural warming system could possibly be a way to keep ourselves from putting on weight.
Scientists our now discovering that a type of fat storage tissue called Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) is more important than we first thought.
In fact only 50g of BAT can account for up to 20% of someone’s daily energy expenditure!
So what is this BAT and how do we get more of it?