Thursday 30 June 2016

Function Of Protein And Weight Loss

Protein has been touted as the essential nutrient, the nutrientthat will ruin your kidneys if you eat too much, etc, etc. Research has shown though that protein is key to weight loss andhelping to provide the feeling of fullness and that it is safe. Protein is key to weight loss because not only does it help you feel fuller faster and longer it also burns more calories than carbs or fat.
That's right the thermic effect of protein is nearly double of carbs and fat. When you eat it your body burns energy to break down that food. Well, protein causes your body to burn nearly twice as much energy to breakdown the food as does carbs or fat.This added Thermic Effect of Food is an added boost to your metabolism. By eating some type of lean protein at every meal 4-6 times a day will keep your metabolism at a higher state all day long. You could essentially burn 100-200 more calories per day by just adding protein at every meal. That’s an incredible 6000calories a month. Almost two pounds of a month .
Another benefit to adding protein at your meals is the fat releasing effect. Eating protein leads to the release of glucagon, a hormone that aids in the release of stored bodyfat to beused for energy. It also helps prevent the storage of fat by creating a lower insulin esponse .Of course we are most familiar with protein/amino acids as the building blocks for creating new muscle. Muscle of course will increase our metabolism and force our bodies to burn more calories which results in more fat calories being burned off.
These 3 benefits of protein all directly help us burn more calories and lose excess fat. I suggest you  incorporate a lean protein source at every meal to enhance utilization of fat for energy, provide satiety(fullness), increase the TEF of their meal and to provide the building blocks to add new metabolism friendly muscle. Bottom line: have a serving of protein every time you eat !

Wednesday 29 June 2016

What I Eat !

The question I am asked the most is “what do you eat?” So below you will see the “Top 10 Lists” of what I eat every day or almost every day. Exact quantities and menus are not listed, just the foods. And remember I do not eat for fat loss. I eat to maintain my weight, stay strong and healthy. Of course my food intake varies. I aim to get as many different varieties of fruits and vegetables as possible over the course of every week and there are a lot of substitutions made, so you are not seeing my full list here. This is just what I eat the most of every day. I also want to point out that while I don’t believe that extreme low carbs are necessary or most effective when you look at the long term.

This is not a prescription to all readers to eat as I do. It’s very important for compliance to choose foods YOU enjoy and to have the option for a wide variety of choices.  The trouble is, restricted diets and staying in a calorie deficit is HARD in general, so most people can’t stick with any program and they fall off the wagon, whichever wagon that may be. I believe that a lot of our attention needs to shift away from pointless debates (low carb vs. high carb, high fat vs. low fat, is getting really old… so… get over it everyone).Instead, our focus should shift towards building an eating program that we can enjoy more while still getting us leaner and healthier, and especially towards asking and answering this question:  how can we build an eating program that improves compliance and one that we can still be doing one year from today? (and that includes the emotional and psychological techniques that can improve compliance as well)
Here’s one good answer: Eat foods you ENJOY that still fit healthy, fat-burning, muscle-building, energizing foods (i.e., hitting your calorie and macronutrient goals for the day, while also providing optimal levels of micronutrients).
Here are the foods I choose to achieve this outcome. This eating plan is not difficult to stick with at all, by the way. I enjoy eating like this and it feels almost weird NOT to eat like this after doing it for so long. Remember, habits work in both directions, and as Jim Rohn Said, “Bad habits are easy to form and hard to live with and good habits are hard to form but easy to live with.
These are listed in the order I frequently consume them. So for example, if oatmeal is on the top of the list that means this is the food I am most likely to eat every single day.
My 10 top starchy carb and grains
1. Oatmeal (old fashioned)
 2. Yams (or sweet potatoes – not same food, but very similar)
 3. Brown rice (a personal favourite is basmati, long grain aromatic rice)
 4. New potatoes
 5. Multi grain hot cereals (mix or barley, oats, rye, titricale and a few others)
 6. Beans (great for healthy chili recipes and some cold salads too)
 7. 100% whole grain bread (not a daily staple food for me, but I do eat and enjoy it)
 8. 100% whole wheat pasta (same note as bread above – a favourite on high carb / re-feed days)
 9. Chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) or other peas
 10. Quinoa (slowly but surely starting to learn some quinoa recipes)
My Top 10 top vegetables
1. broccoli
 2. asparagus
 3. spinach
 4. salad greens / lettuce
 5. corn
 6. carrots
 7. onions
 8. mushrooms
 9. cucumbers
 10. Zucchini
My top 10 lean proteins
1. Eggs (I include at least one whole egg per meal and use the rest whites)
 2. Chicken Breast
 3. Salmon (wild alaskan)
 4. Turkey Breast
 5. Top round steak (grass fed beef)
 6. Flank Steak (grass fed beef)
 7. Tilapia Fish (from U.S.  – Seafood Watch has warned to avoid Chinese and Taiwanese Tilapia)
 8. tuna- steak or canned in water
 9. Trout (rainbow)
 10. Whey protein isolate
My top 10 fruits
1. Grapefruit
 2. Apples
 3. raisins
 4. Canteloupe
 5. Oranges
 6. Bananas
 7. Peaches
 8. Grapes
 9. Strawberries
 10. Pineapple
By the way, remember – fruit is nature’s candy and DOE'S NOT contribute to fat gain.
And also note, I DO include healthy fats as well, walnuts, almonds, olive oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil (supplement – not to cook with), avocado and a few others that are slipping my mind at the moment. Or I will simply supplement with Udo’s Oil
Also, YES I eat dairy and I have nothing aginst it, nor am I lactose intolerant. I just don’ t eat as much dairy as the rest of the stuff on my lists (although it’s worth noting that whey and casein protein powders are milk proteins). When I eat dairy its usually skim milk, low or non fat cottage cheese, low or non fat yogurt .
Hope you found this helpful and interesting. Keep in mind, this is MY food list, and although you probably couldn’t go wrong to emulate it, (if your goal is more muscle and less fat), you need to choose foods you enjoy in order to develop habits you can stick with long term. There are for example, hundreds of other fruits and vegetables out there…enjoy them all! And remember this: every time you eat make sure you have some form of carbohydrate + protein + fat = healthy, well balanced meal ! A meal can be something as simple as some left over chicken and salad. So dont over think it !
Bon Appetite!

Sunday 26 June 2016

We Owe It To The Kids

 I had just finished a session with my client and on the way out of the gym he took a detour on his way to the exit to leave for the night.  This client, a 39-year-old engineer who'd been training with me for about two months, strolled over to the power rack.Once there, he proceeded to do a quick and effortless muscle up into a pseudo gymnastics routine, all atop the power rack. My jaw pretty much hit the floor.
Stunned, I asked him, "Where did that come from?" I knew he was in pretty good shape but he made it look so effortless.
His response: "It was in our school curriculum. I've been able to do it since I was little."
You see, this client was born in Soviet Union (the region now known as Ukraine), and learning to move like this was an integral lesson in each day of schooling. In spite of the fact that he hadn't done much organized training in recent years - and the fact that he probably sits at a desk too much during the day, this client had maintained some significant movement capabilities.  As I thought back on his training history with me, too, I recalled that he not only crushed his evaluation, but also picked up new movements we introduced incredibly easily.  If you build a foundation, it's there for good. When I first start working with a new client, I can tell immediately their level of involvement in sports.
Now, compare that to the current model for "athletic development" (if you can even call it that) in the United Kingdom.  Fewer and fewer kids have physical education classes in school, and we have earlier and earlier sports specialization taking place.
Very few Btitish kids are exposed to the rich proprioceptive environments that not only makes them good athletes, but also sets them up for a lifetime of good movement. Most of the focus in this regard has been on implications with respect to childhood obesity, but the truth is that it has likely has just as profound an impact on long-term athletic development, as well as performance in school, as exercise and quality movement have tremendous benefits for brain function.
In the U.K., we are reaping exactly what we sow. We're fatter than ever, have far more injuries (both in competitive athletes and the general population), and aren't the international sports powerhouse we once were.  Our academic performance has also slipped considerably as compared to other countries around the world, and while there are loads of socioeconomic factors that influence this, I think it's safe to say that healthier, active kids are smarter kids. Anecdotally, the typical athletes I've seen on initial evaluations are now considerably less athletic than what I saw in1998, when I first moved to England.  These kids also have more extensive injury histories, and they're on more medications.
Clearly, what we're doing isn't working. It's time to get kids moving, encourage fun and free play, and discourage early specialization. Please spread the word, and do your part. Children need to be active. Not just for the health rewards but for the social skills that are learned with it. Most kids will never go to the Olympics,play in The World Cup or The Six Nations. But they will get healthy. They will learn team work. That sometimes you lose and most importantly ,thing don’t always go your way. And when they don’t,just pick yourself up and try again. These are lessons that apply to everything we do in life. We owe to the kids !

Thursday 23 June 2016

The Truth About Back Pain

It might be a sharp stab. It might be a dull ache. Sooner or later, 8 out of 10 of us will have back pain. And back pain myths are almost as common. Let's set the record straight about what you may have heard.
Myth: Always Sit Up Straight
Slouching is bad. But sitting up too straight and still for long periods can also be a strain on your back. Take breaks a few times a day: Lean back in your chair with your feet on the floor and let your back curve slightly. Even better: Try standing for part of the day, perhaps while you're on the phone or reading.
Myth: Don't Lift Heavy Things
It's not necessarily how much you lift, it's how you do it. Get directly in front of the object. Squat close to it, with your back straight and head up. Stand, using your legs to push up the load and your arms to hold it close to your middle. Don't twist or bend your body, or you may hurt your back. (Of course you shouldn't pick up anything that might be too heavy for you.)
Myth: Bed Rest Is the Best Cure
Yes, resting can help a recent injury or strain that causes back pain. But a day or two in bed can actually make it worse.
Myth: Pain Is Caused by Injury
Disc degeneration, diseases, infections, and even inherited conditions can make your back hurt, too.
Fact: More Pounds, More Pain
Staying fit helps prevent back pain. As you might guess, extra pounds will put stress on your back. Back pain is most common among people who are out of shape, especially weekend warriors who push themselves hard after sitting around all week. 
Myth: Skinny Means Pain-Free
Anyone can get back pain. People who are too thin, such as those with an eating disorder like anorexia, may have bone loss. They're more likely to get broken bones and crushed vertebrae.
Myth: Exercise Is Bad for Back Pain
This is a big one. Regular exercise prevents back pain. And doctors may recommend exercise for people who have recently hurt their lower back. They'll usually start with gentle movements and gradually build up the intensity. Once the immediate pain goes away, an exercise plan can help keep it from coming back.
Fact: Chiropractic Care Can Help
Treatment guidelines from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society recommend that patients and doctors consider other options with proven benefits for low back pain. These include spinal manipulation and massage therapy.
Fact: Acupuncture May Ease Pain
The same organizations say acupuncture, yoga, progressive relaxation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy may help when you don't get relief from standard self-care.
Myth: Firmer Mattresses Are Better
In a Spanish study, people with ongoing general back pain who slept on a medium-firm mattress hurt less and were able to move better than those who slept on a firm mattress. But one size doesn't fit all. Choose your mattress based on your sleep habits as well as the cause of your back pain.
The best way to get started at relieving back pain is exercise and dropping a few of those extra pounds.If you decide to get moving be sure to get yourself a Professional Personal Trainer to help you. Doing the wrong thing is the only thing worse than doing nothing. 




Monday 20 June 2016

Fibre For Weight Loss

Start Your Day With Whole Grains
Fiber can help lower cholesterol, prevent constipation, and improve digestion. Most of us don't eat enough of it. On average, we get less than half of what we need. Most whole grains are a great source of fiber. Start with breakfast: Look for whole-grain cereal or oatmeal with 3 or more grams of fiber per serving. Add fruit and you’ll be on your way to the daily goal of 38 grams for men under 50 and 25 grams for women under 50.
Fresh Fruit 
Any fresh fruit is a healthy snack. But when it comes to fiber, all fruits are not created equal. One large Asian pear has a whopping 9.9 grams of it. Other high-fiber fruits include raspberries (4 grams per 1/2 cup), blackberries (3.8 grams per 1/2 cup), bananas (3.1 for one medium sized), and blueberries (2 grams per 1/2 cup). Pears and apples -- with the skin on -- are also good choices
Whole-Grain Bread and Crackers 
Keep the grains coming. For lunch, eat a sandwich on whole-grain bread. Or dip whole-grain crackers into your favorite healthy spread. Whole grain means it includes all parts of the grain -- and that gives you all the nutrients. Studies show that adding whole grains and other high-fiber foods to your diet may also reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Eat Your Vegetables 
Artichoke hearts, green peas, spinach, corn, broccoli, and potatoes are high-fiber veggies. But all vegetables have some. To boost your fiber intake, add veggies to omelets, sandwiches, pastas, pizza, and soup. Try adding interesting ones -- such as beets, jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, or celeriac -- to a salad or other meals
Dried Fruit 
Prunes are well known for their ability to help digestion. That’s in part because of their high fiber content. The roughage can help regulate bowel movements and relieve constipation. Most dried fruits are loaded with fiber. Try having a handful of dried figs, dates, raisins, or dried apricots as a snack. Or chop them up and sprinkle on top of cereal or whole-grain dishes.
Fiber-Rich Beans 
From adzuki to Great Northern, beans are high in fiber and protein, and low in fat. Try eating them instead of meat twice a week. Use them in soups, stews, salads, and casseroles, and with egg, rice, and pasta dishes. For a healthy snack, boil edamame beans for 4 minutes and sprinkle with salt. Be sure to wash down the fiber you eat with plenty of liquid to avoid constipation and gas
Peas and Other Legumes 
Related to beans, lentils and peas are high in fiber and protein and low in fat, too. Lentils cook more quickly than most other legumes and are a favorite in soups and stews. You can add cooked chickpeas to salads, or blend them to make hummus.
Nuts, Seeds, and Fiber 
Many people steer clear of nuts and seeds because they tend to be high in calories and fat. But they can be a great source of fiber and other nutrients. A 1/4 cup of sunflower seed kernels, for example, has 3.9 grams of fiber. One ounce of almonds has 3.5 grams. Try adding chopped nuts or seeds to salads, cereal, or yogurt. Or enjoy a handful of roasted nuts or seeds for a healthy afternoon snack.
Enjoy Whole Grains With Dinner 
Enjoy brown rice instead of white with your meal. Or try whole-grain noodles. For something different, make a dish with millet, quinoa, or bulgur -- whole grains that are packed with fiber. Worried that grains cause weight gain? Adding fiber to your diet can actually help prevent it by making you feel fuller longer. These foods also require more chewing -- giving your body more time to feel full.
Add Flaxseed  
The seed of the flax plant can be an excellent source of fiber, giving you 2.8 grams per tablespoon. Flaxseed is often used as a laxative, but studies show that it also may help reduce cholesterol levels and decrease hot flashes. Add whole or ground flaxseeds to breads or other baked goods. Or sprinkle ground flaxseed into a smoothie or onto cooked vegetables.
Fibre Enriched Food 
If you can’t work another serving of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, or whole grains into your diet, consider eating a food enriched with fiber. You can find cereal, snack bars,  pasta, and yogurt fortified with it.
Lack of fibre or low fibre intake can bring your weight loss efforts to screeching halt.Be sure to keep an eye on your total fibre intake. 


Friday 17 June 2016

3 Strategies To Avoid Fitness Sabotage

Changing your eating and exercise habits is hard enough. Getting loved ones to support your healthy lifestyle changes? Prepare to grit your teeth. The company you keep does affect your progress toward healthier living. So here’s how to reduce peer pressure and get the social support you need. You beam as you gather your family ‘round the dining table, where you’ve lovingly assembled a colourful and nutritious meal.
Everyone takes a seat.

You serve the grilled chicken, the sautéed broccoli, the pumpkin seed-studded salad. You nervously watch for reactions.
It’s really delicious…You swear!
Then, within moments:
A floret of broccoli makes a perfect arc across the room after your toddler daughter catapults it from her fork.
Your preteen son slumps so low that only his furrowed brow and the top of his phone peek above the table.
Your partner, trying to be polite and supportive, has been chewing his first bite for a good two minutes. Without swallowing.
Even the dog, usually hovering shamelessly, sniffs at a spinach leaf and then flops down in the corner with a sigh.
You feel… alone.
Now what?
To change your eating and exercise habits, do you have to convince your friends and family to change too? Would getting loved ones on board with your healthy lifestyle changes make the whole endeavour easier?
And if so, how the #@*% do you do that?
This really matters to you.
You’re excited about your experiments with lifestyle changes.
You’re eating more vegetables. You’re walking on your lunch breaks and seeing a trainer on a regular basis.
Your body is looking, working, and feeling better.
You feel sparks of inspiration and hope. And you want to keep going.
You desperately want loved ones with you.
Well, because you love them.
You want your family and friends to be healthy and safe — to feel good. You want to protect them from the pain of poor health.
You want the best for them
And frankly, you need support from the people closest to you.
It seems hard — even near impossible — to make these big changes alone.
If you’re feeling these things it’s important to know: The thoughts are really, really normal.
It is hard to eat and move in ways that support your own health goals when, in your social circle, Fridays a take away; Saturdays mean a curry ; hanging out means meeting at the pub to shoot tequila instead of at the park for a little kick about; etc.
In some ways, you are the sum of your social circle.
Habits can be contagious.
The people around you matter. And you matter to the people around you.
Research shows that we are affected by the body composition, habits, and lifestyles of those around us. The more people around us are doing something, or living a certain way, the more likely we are to do and live the same — whether that’s what we eat, how we eat, whether we move (or not), how we move, and so on. If your friends and family are fitter and healthier, you’re more likely to be fitter and healthier. And the reverse is true, too.
Research shows that:
•The weight of those closest to you may help determine your own weight. According to one large-scale study, having a friend, an adult sibling, or a spouse who is obese increases your own obesity risk by 57 percent, 40 percent, and 37 percent respectively.
•Even your friends’ friends matter. Two degrees of separation between you and someone who is obese increases your own chances of being obese by 20 percent. You don’t even have to have met them for this to be a factor in your own weight.
•Your social network affects your obesity risk exponentially. Each obese person you know is correlated with a 0.5 percent increase in your risk of obesity. Thus, having five obese social contacts more than doubles your risk of becoming obese.
•Your weight is more influenced by people of your own gender. For women, this means that a girlfriend’s or same-sex partner’s weight may have a larger effect than a guy friend’s or opposite-sex partners; and vice versa for men.
•Weight convergence likely happens subconsciously. Researchers believe that we change our habits to match those of our social group without talking or even thinking about it.
•The amount you eat depends on who you’re eating with. Dine with a big eater, and you’re liable to consume more; sit down with a light eater, and you’re likely to take in less. This effect has been observed even among strangers. When asked, the diners usually attribute the mirroring effect to taste and hunger as opposed to the behaviour of others around them.
•How much you eat also depends on the size of the group you’re with. Eating with one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven or more other people is associated with a 33, 47, 58, 69, 70, 72, and 96 percent increase in energy consumed, respectively.
•Your social network can also have a big impact on what you eat. People whose friends generally meet the guidelines for produce intake are more likely to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
•Your impression of social norms help determine what you eat, how much you eat, and your physical activity level. If getting a light salad for lunch seems “normal”, that’s what you’re likely to do, even if no one’s going to see you eat it. Conversely, if eating a bag of Ruffles for lunch seems “normal”, you may do that, even if you know the salad is more aligned with your health goals. Those who report a high level of physical activity as the social norm are also more likely to be active themselves.
As you can see, most of this happens subconsciously. We often change our habits to match those of our social group without talking or even thinking about it.It’s not just how you eat and move, of course. Research indicates that you’re influenced by family and friends for other big-deal game-changers, like whether to get married or when to have a baby.
Of course, all of these findings are correlations — researchers are still working out exactly why the body weight and lifestyle of friends and family affects your own. But why does it work this way? Why can’t you be a lone wolf or a unique individual? Well, in some ways, social influence is a good thing.
Social cohesion keeps us alive.
Human beings are social creatures.
We evolved in small groups who depended on one another for survival. Much of our brain is devoted specifically to social cues and communication: recognizing faces, reading emotions, making and understanding language, etc. We depended on social cohesion — on belonging — to survive. To be alone (whether abandoned, rejected, or left behind) often meant certain death.
Today, modern medicine shows us that loneliness can still kill: our bodies respond to social rejection and isolation as if they were viral threats. When we are persistently lonely, inflammation goes up, immunity goes down; we get more chronic diseases and die sooner.
Aloneness is scary. Vulnerable. Difficult.
“Aloneness” can be “real”, like the actual aloneness of a young woman who chooses to stay in to eat a healthy dinner and get a good night’s sleep when all her roommates have gone out for pizza and partying.
“Aloneness” can also be a feeling, like the way a guy feels when all his buddies are drinking beer and he’s got a seltzer.
If you’re the only one at happy hour ordering a side salad instead of fries, it’s basically like you’re outside the campfire circle of social safety, just waiting for the lions to attack your tender, undefended flesh.
Thus, protecting ourselves against aloneness is in our DNA.
Swimming against the current is hard.
Of course, it is possible to go it alone. (Terms like “pioneer” and “trailblazer” exist, after all.)
But let’s face it: It’s a lot easier to eat better and get more exercise when your social environment — the behaviour of your family and friends — supports your goals.
As with all things, the laws of physics come into play. When you’re trying to change, you may encounter either friction, or momentum.
Friction can make you feel stuck.
Friction makes things harder to do.
Eye-rolling co-workers, spinach-resistant kids, and chili nachos-loving friends — people who explicitly disagree with you or simply engage in opposing habits — create environmental and emotional barriers as you try to move toward your goals.
Friction is:
•when you make a big batch of kale chips for your family on movie night instead of the usual popcorn, and your kids respond with flailing limbs, screeching protests, and exaggerated gagging performances.
•when you sign up for a 10K run and your friends wag their fingers at you and tell you that running will kill your knees.
•when you make an agreement with your mother-in-law that you will take care of the sides for Thanksgiving dinner because you want to provide healthy options, but when you arrive she has prepared all the usual greasy, sugary dishes because she “didn’t want to break tradition”.
When you’re dealing with friction, lifestyle change is like climbing a steep mountain with gravel moving underneath you — complete with cursing, tripping, and slow progress.
Momentum helps you keep rolling.
Momentum boosts you and replenishes your energy.
Willing and/or like-minded loved ones can help keep you accountable, connected, and supported, bolstering you as you work to change your eating and exercise routine.
Momentum is:
•when your whole family chips in to make a wholesome meal, turning food preparation into a family project. You talk about what fruits and vegetables you like, research healthy recipes, and try new weird-shaped vegetables, together.
•when you sign up for a 10K run and your friends ask if you want a cheering section, or at least someone to throw water on you (supportively, of course).
•when you make an agreement with your mother-in-law that you will take care of the sides for Thanksgiving dinner. She gets the hint, lets you do your thing, and takes a cue from you and puts out some local berries for dessert as well. (Of course, people still hit the pie… but…well…c’mon, it’s pie.)
Be brave; be positive.
Now here’s some LA Success physics: You can have friction and momentum, together.
In other words, even if you encounter resistance, you can still get support too
Even if your loved ones aren’t super-enthusiastic about your nutrition and fitness experiments, or will never love pea sprouts like you do, it doesn’t mean they don’t care, or won’t help.
•You can pursue your goals in the face of wavering or stingy support.
•You don’t have to dump all your friends and family.
•Most importantly, you may not even have to try to convince anyone in order to get them on board.
Social support works both ways.The people around you can influence you. And you can influence them back.This is where the good type of “going it alone” comes in: leadership.
While it may be easier to wait until your immediate social circle comes around to prioritizing healthy choices, it’s also incredibly empowering and inspiring to be a leader for change, despite the forces against you. And in doing so, you’ll build your own small wave of momentum that, little by little, erodes the friction you encounter.
But here’s an important tip: You don’t reduce friction by pushing back. A powerful healthy-lifestyle pioneer… is a peaceful one. In order to step into that role, try this gentle, sometimes counterintuitive, action plan.
3 crucial strategies for getting friends and family to support your healthy lifestyle.
1. Accept that you may not be “right”.
Step back and embrace some hard truth.
How much of the friction you feel from others… is actually created by you?
Even if you mean well and even if you are absolutely, 100% correct (yes, smoking is bad; yes, vegetables are good)…
How often have you been judgemental? Insistent? Preachy? Self-righteous? Dismissive? Over-enthusiastic? Maybe even a bit…culty? (That t-shirt that says “Kale University”? We see it.)
Conversely, how often have you been curious? Interested in others’ perspectives? Able to deal with diversity and tolerate various viewpoints? Open-minded? Empathetic and compassionate? A good listener?
Consider this: Maybe “right” isn’t so obvious.
All behaviours and choices have a reason to be there. You might not know the reasons; you might not quite understand the reasons or even agree with the reasons. But whatever habits your loved ones are practicing, they are doing them for a reason. In some way, their habits are “right” for them. They may have only a limited toolbox of options or coping skills.
This means:
•understanding that your brother feels panicked and crushed under work stress, and sees drinking as the best way to cope.
•having compassion for your best friend, who is terrified to confront her body, and therefore gets defensive and critical every time you bring up your new health regimen.
•understanding that your parents were raised to respect traditional authority figures, so they still believe margarine is better for you than butter, because that’s what their doctor drilled into them 30 years ago.
When we focus on defending our “right-ness” and proving our loved ones’ “wrongness”, our perspective becomes very narrow and our relationships become oppositional.
However, when we let go of judgement and choose compassion and empathy, we make room for understanding.
Understanding dissolves conflict, because it usually shows us that, at our cores, we are all dealing with the same themes — we’re more alike than different.
Understanding helps us collaborate instead of clash; connect instead of criticize. We start to ask questions that, instead of inducing blame and shame, invite connection and support:
“Why are they so different from me?”
“When have I dealt with something similar?”

“How do I get them to stop the bad habit?”
“What problem is the bad habit trying to solve?”

“What is wrong with them?”
“What might they really need?”
As your loved ones begin to feel more understood, and less judged, they may begin to practice more flexibility and less judgement toward your new habits and beliefs too.
(And by the way, it’ll serve you immensely to practice non-judgement, compassion, and understanding on yourself too.)
2. Be persistent, not pushy.
Resistance more often comes from fear than from true philosophical opposition.Change can feel scary. It can bring up issues of control, security, and identity and it can also bring up painful emotions like anxiety, panic, shame, or loss.
When our loved ones resist change (in all the creative ways they can come up with — consciously and unconsciously, kindly and unkindly), what they might actually be feeling underneath it all… is fear.
Their fear can be the result of thoughts like:
•What if you become a different person?
•What if this new food tastes gross?
•What if your healthy habits make me confront my unhealthy habits?
•What if people don’t accept us?
•What if you judge me or don’t love me anymore?
•What if I can’t keep up with you?
•What if life gets uncomfortable?
•What if I lose you?
Just like a scared child, resistance and fear in their adult forms don’t respond well to rational arguments and pushing.
So while you must press forward with the changes you’re trying to make for your own well-being, you’ll more likely get support if you practice persistence rather than pushiness.Pushiness means attempting to force friends and family to join/agree with you, and accepting only a rigid set of compliant responses.
Persistence means continuously offering opportunities for your friends and family to join you on your quest for a healthier life, and yet remains open to a wide range of responses to any given invitation.
So be persistent:
•Keep offering healthy dishes at the dinner table.
•Keep inviting your friends and family to join you on runs, hikes, and exercise classes.
•Keep having conversations about nutrition, healthy body image, and what it means to have a truly good, capable life.
Prioritize positivity and connection when you present these options, and expect resistance, sometimes over and over and over again.As much as you can, take the drama and emotional charge out of these conversations. Validate your loved ones’ reasons for staying the way they are, and don’t push back. Perhaps, when their fear subsides and they realize it’s safe to dip their toe in the land of green smoothies and box jumps, your loved ones will join you, and you’ll ride off into the sunset (on your recumbent bikes, drinking coconut water) together.
3. Just “do you”.
Change is difficult.
In order to overcome the many bumps, blocks, and blusters inherent to significant lifestyle change, we need to be anchored to a deep, internal, personalized “why” that will pull us through. You can’t manufacture this type of motivation for someone else. No matter how hard you try to coerce your kids, spouse, parents, and friends to change, they may have none of it.And in fact, that may be a good sign. Because that means they know that in order to make the kinds of changes you’re making, they have to want it too.
We call this “intrinsic motivation” — a connection to one’s own, internal reasons for doing something. Research shows that intrinsic motivation leads to change that’s longer-lasting and more self-sustaining than extrinsic motivation, which is based on the desire to obtain external outcomes such as good grades or the approval of others (ahem).
Intrinsic motivation requires deep thought and reflection, and may take longer to develop.
So respect that your loved ones may take time to connect to their own reasons for eating and moving better.
Meanwhile, just “do you”.
Focus on your own intrinsic motivations. Stay connected to what’s driving you, deep inside, to make these personal changes. Without ignoring your natural love and concern for loved ones, let your attention turn inward. Spend more energy on your own growth and development.
Which could lead to something else amazing…
Think about how you feel when you watch someone you love work toward a BIG goal with heartfelt determination, grit, and bravery. Think about how you feel when you watch that person persist despite setbacks, failures, and fears.
Think about how you feel when you watch that person triumph, however messily and imperfectly, over adversity.
You feel inspired.
You feel like anything is possible.
You feel like maybe you could do something great too.
And that is the beautiful irony in “doing you”:
By working toward and achieving a healthier, happier, more confident and capable version of yourself, you become the inspiration, the positive influence to your family and friends.And it all comes full circle when that little healthy-lifestyle wave you started attracts other riders, builds, and then become a huge tidal of momentum to carry you to your final objective — a fit, healthy you — and keep you there.
Influence happens in both directions, remember?
Lead the way.
What to do next.
We’ve learned that change is hard, and changing others is harder. It can be challenging to know where to start.
Take one of these concrete steps today to start reducing conflict and maximizing your own efforts toward healthy living.
Practice sacrificing a “win”.
If you find yourself in a conflict with a loved one, check your instinct to want to be “right”.
Ask yourself who you want to win: you, or the team that makes up you and your loved one(s).
Sometimes we have to sacrifice personal “wins” for the sake of the greater good of the family/friend unit. Often that means loving and accepting our loved ones even when they disagree or aren’t compliant with what we believe is “right”.
This takes practice, and it can be uncomfortable at first.
Find one opportunity to practice non-rightness today, and note the result.
Use “approach” goals instead of “avoid” goals.
To foster understanding among you and loved ones, play with the language you use to (gently) coach them.
“Avoidance” goals — such as “stop eating junk food”, “don’t watch TV after dinner”, and “don’t overeat” — are more likely to make people feel restricted, rebellious, and resistant.
“Approach goals” — such as “try two new vegetables this week”, “eat three different colours of plants today”, and “do something that gets you out of breath for 20 minutes” — are more likely to make people feel expansive, creative, interested, and willing.Approach goals help make the process of change more harmonious, positive, and even fun for you and your family.
Find objective support that’s just for you.
Having a support person that is detached from your social bubble can be tremendously helpful.A skilled Professional Personal Trainer(PPT) provides an objective perspective and functions as a sounding board, a voice of reason, and a resource for practical ideas and inspiration — a source of momentum.
An experienced PPT can also provide accountability, which is especially important if you are the lifestyle “trailblazer” in your social circle.
Check your motives.
Each time you make a decision about food or exercise (or any other health factor you’re trying to improve, ask yourself:
Am I doing this because everyone else is doing it, or because it matches my own internal intentions and values?
This doesn’t mean it’s wrong to want to do what other people are doing. But if you do go the way of the crowd, do it consciously.
Involve your loved ones.Small moments of support can make a huge difference when you’re trying to move away from friction, toward momentum.
•Ask your spouse to help you stretch out after a workout, or to accompany you on a morning walk.
•Ask your children to help you menu plan, choose vegetables at the grocery store, or even help prepare a meal.
•Ask your best friend for a hug when you’ve had a stressful week.
•Ask your friends and family to cheer you on at a race.
Involve and integrate your social network, into your life, without forcing them to change themselves.Accept them as they are, and be sure to tell them how much it means to you that they are there for you.
As your Professional Personal Trainer, I will give you the daily support and accountability you need to make lifestyle changes that have eluded you for years. The result: higher confidence, better food and exercise choices, less body fat, and improved health.The world of nutrition and fitness can make you feel lost at times. But it doesn’t have to. Once you get personalized attention from me, your path to healthy, energetic, and capable comes into sharp focus.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Depression Fighting Foods

Turkey:The has the protein building-block tryptophan, which your body uses to make serotonin. That's a brain chemical that plays a key role in depression, researchers say. In fact, some antidepressant drugs work by targeting the way your brain uses serotonin. You can get the same mood-boosting effect from chicken and soybeans
Brazil Nuts :This snack is rich in selenium, which helps protect your body from tiny, damaging particles called free radicals. One study found that young people who didn’t have enough of this nutrient in their diets were more likely to be depressed. The researchers couldn’t say that low selenium caused depression, though. Just one Brazil nut has almost half your daily requirement of the mineral so be careful to limit how many you eat. Other foods with this mineral include brown rice, lean beef, sunflower seeds, and seafood.
Carrots:They’re full of beta-carotene, which you can also get from pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe. Studies have linked this nutrient to lower levels of depression. There’s not enough evidence to say that it can prevent the disorder, but it can’t hurt to get more in your diet.
Clams and Mussels:These seafood favorites are a good source of B-12. Some studies say that people with low levels of the vitamin are more likely to have depression. It may be that a lack of it causes a shortage of a substance called s-adenosylmethionine (SAM), which your brain needs to process other chemicals that affect your mood. If you’re looking for other B-12 foods, try lean beef, milk, and eggs.
Coffee: A jolt of caffeine can be a pick-me-up that helps you feel more motivated. But if you have postpartum depression or panic disorder, some studies suggest that it might make your symptoms worse. Other researchers say a cup of joe can lower your risk of getting depression, though they’re not sure why.
Leafy Greens:They’re packed with folate, which your brain cells need to work well and which may help protect against depression. Food manufacturers in the U.S. add this vitamin, also known as B9, to enriched grains like pasta and rice. You can also get it from lentils, lima beans, and asparagus.
Salmon:This and other fish like herring and tuna are high in polyunsaturated fats. Researchers think those can help you fight depression. One type of these fats, called omega-3 fatty acids, may help brain cells use chemicals that can affect your mood. A few small studies show that people who weren’t depressed had higher levels of omega-3s than those with the mood disorder.
Milk:It’s a good source of vitamin D. If you have very low levels of this nutrient in your body, that can sometimes cause depression. One Norwegian study found that people who took a vitamin D supplement were less depressed a year later than those who didn’t. Don’t like milk? Boost the D in your diet with enriched cereals and juices, and canned fish.
Caution: Alcohol…It might seem like just the thing to take the edge off your worries or make you feel more social. But most of the time, it’s best if you drink wine, beer, and mixed drinks only in moderation. You might feel better in the moment, but heavy drinking can make depression symptoms worse over time, because alcohol makes your brain less active. It also can make antidepressant medications less effective.
 Caution: Junk Food..It may be fast and filling, but these processed foods can be bad news for your mood. Scientists have studied how diets high in sugar, simple carbohydrates, and fatty foods affect how you feel. Many found some link between these unhealthy eats and depression. Your best bet: a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Of course there still is the one thing you can do anywhere ,anytime that has been proven to ease the pain of depression. Exercise !    There is a reason you feel better after a bit of physical exertion. Combine these helpful strategies along with therapy(if needed) and you will start to feel better almost immediately. If you are receiving therapy and have been prescribed medication please DO NOT STOP using these tools. The hints I am offering are to be used in conjunction with therapy and medication,not in place of !

Success Fitness Training

Professional Personal Fitness Trainer