Check out the rest of our articles for more health and fitness info!
Week 9 Bites: Summing Up Your Journey
Week 9 Journey: Metamorphosis – The Key Changes In Your Journey
You now have all the elements required to create your own formula for healthy eating You’re almost there to enjoy the rewards of your journey!
If you’ve been following the programme for the last 8 weeks, this article serves as a good reminder of how far you’ve come and what you’ve acquired or learnt so far.
Below is a summary of the 10-Week Get Fit Nutrition Programme.
Water is essential to incorporate regularly and adequately and should be prioritised over food.
- Often, when we feel hungry, it could be a sign that we are simply thirsty. Our body’s signalling pathways might be sending us the wrong message, leading us to reach for a quick fix through unnecessary snacking or binge-eating.
- Many nutrients require adequate hydration for transportation. Dehydration may result in many nutrients not being used effectively.
- Dehydration can also lead to inflammation (especially detrimental if you suffer from any autoimmune conditions).
- Healthy digestion relies on adequate water. Without it you can feel heavy, constipated and uncomfortable.
- Other potential signs of dehydration include: lack of energy, feeling moody, headaches, muscle cramps, restless leg, dizziness/lightheaded, hunger and digestive discomfort.
A healthy adult should drink between 1.5 -3 litres of water per day.
Those who live in warmer climates require more water intake. However, high-sugar or caffeinated drinks are counterproductive to your water intake and are not included in the daily recommended quota as mentioned above.
Top Tip: Before reaching for a snack, have a glass of water to ensure you are hydrated and to prevent overeating.
For full details on H20 and the benefits, click here to take you to week 1 on water (H20).
Simply put; the faster food is digested, the quicker it raises your blood sugar. On the flipside, the slower food takes to digest, the more balanced your blood sugar levels tend to be. Balance is the objective for both health and healthy weight. In essence, if you wish to gain long-term health, it is vital to balance your blood sugar. Without this your body becomes a yo-yo of ups and downs. The yo-yo effect, or rollercoaster ride can lead you to suffer from many side effects. Some of the main symptoms of blood sugar imbalance can include:
- Weight gain
- Low energy levels, especially in the afternoon
- Need for frequent (urgent) eating
- Poor sleep quality
- Poor concentration
The main contributors influencing poor blood sugar balance include:
- High-sugar foods and drinks
- Foods with little fibre content
- White carbohydrates
- Stimulants (tea, coffee, cigarettes)
- Infrequent eating
- Skipping breakfast
- Lack of fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds and good quality protein with every meal
If you thought protein is reserved for bulking up, it’s time to reevaluate..Protein is necessary for nearly every body function from weight loss to boosting your immune system, healthy hair skin and nails as well as your muscles. Additionally, protein helps you to feel full for longer so it is less likely that you binge on low-nutrient/high-fat forming foods.
Top protein tips include:
1 portion of protein is the size of the palm of your hand or a closed fist. You should eat this amount at every main meal (3 times a day).
Whenever you eat, (snack or a meal), ensure you have protein with it as it is key in helping to balance your blood sugar levels and slow down the yo-yo effect.
For details advising which proteins are the best, please visit week 3 by clicking here for the full article.
Many scientific studies are now attaching the obesity epidemic not to fat but to sugars (5). In fact, fructose which is 50% of table sugar converts in your liver to the deadly ‘triglyceride’ fat. Table sugar is comprised of: 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
Whilst glucose serves every cell in the body and is the fuel we need (in moderation) for survival, fructose does not have the same requirement.
Fructose consumption has now been linked to Metabolic Syndrome. This is a huge contributing factor to diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, cancers and Alzheimer’s (6).
The question to yourself should be – ‘is the regular soft drink, chewy chocolate bar or bag of cookies worth it’?
For more inside scope in helping you to identify the hidden sugars and tasty alternatives, click here for the full sugar insight in week 4.
This is a fun week as it inspires balance. A little of bit of ‘bad’ with the highly nutritious foods means that you can have the best of both worlds. Achieving balance is called the 80/20 rule.
Sugar, alcohol, caffeine, cakes and crisps are harmful in excess. If 80% of what you consume is high in vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins, then you can enjoy a bit of the bad in moderation.
Weekly or occasional treats can be enjoyable instead of guilt-ridden if consumed with moderation.
An essential point to remember is the 10-Week Get Fit Nutrition Programme is not a diet. It is a tool to help you make long-term healthy and sustainable changes. It’s about informed decisions, conscious eating and getting the balance of health and indulgence in check.
For more tips on how to achieve this, please click here to take you through to week 5 ‘Establishing my 80/20’.
One of the main challenges in adopting healthy changes is time. Many people wish to be ‘healthy’, but expect a health kick to take no time or effort. Sadly, this is the first hurdle.
One of the biggest tips for success is to allocate and allow yourself time to plan, shop and prepare.
Top timing tips include:
- Allow/allocate a specific time to prepare your weekly health plan.
- Plan most of your meals in advance.
- Shop for the foods you have decided to eat.
- Buy some non-perishable back-up foods in case you run out.
- Freeze healthy options such as proteins or green smoothie content in portion sizes.
- Most of all, in your busy schedule, take time into perspective. Without it, success at being healthy is nearly impossible.
Start planning by reading the full article from week 6 by clicking here.
Why are fats important?
Fats are essential for most body functions from your hormones to your energy levels, lowering inflammation, right through to your appetite and weight loss (8). Yes, the truth is that fat helps us feel full faster. Certain fats even help your body to break down stored fat and burn it.
Essentially, the avoidance of fat is arguably contributing to an overweight society (9).
There are different categories of fat; some vital to health, others beneficial in moderation and correctly combined, whilst others are simply toxic. Knowing which foods belong to what category is essential to your healthy future.
Categories you need to remember are:
- Essential fats – essential because your body can’t make them without the food you get them from. These are largely Omega 3 and omega 6.
- Saturated fats – These are not all bad in moderation especially when eaten with a Mediterranean diet and if you avoid combining refined and high-sugar foods.
- Trans fats (hydrogenated fats) – These are manmade fats that contribute to cancers, chronic disease and toxicity. So deadly that from 2018 the USA have banned the manufacturing of any foods containing trans fats (hydrogenated fats) (10,11).
Learn more about fats by clicking here.
Many of us tend to overindulge in a few foods for a time and then move onto the next, and the cycle repeats. Whether the food fixes you have are healthy or unhealthy, overindulgence in one specific food is not good.
A food is only beneficial to you if your body responds to it positively. Many people experience a slow health decline and this often begins with your digestion.
Overconsumption of a food can disrupt the health of your digestive tract. If you rotate your food, you can avoid your immune system going into overdrive. When it goes into ‘overdrive’, it mounts an immune response and this is generally when you will have onset of symptoms and problems with digestion.
Rotation of foods from 24 hours – 4 days (depending on your circumstances) helps maximise your health and creates a varied and balanced approach to eating.
For more detail on how to rotate as well as a template to help keep you on track, click here for week 8 on the importance of Rotation.
Next week in week 10, we will give you tools for venturing into the world of health alone. Once your programme is finished, it is essential you still know how to maintain your positive changes and to ensure you can drive your own motivation. We look forward to supporting you with: Tools, Tricks and Tips.
Giving you enough ammunition to propel you successfully forward.
Acceptance of risk and waiver of liability
I confirm and acknowledge my participation is limited to my own abilities and medical condition(s) (known or otherwise). I acknowledge associated risks of participation in the event I suffer from a medical condition, disability or other injury which may compromise my health and safety. I further acknowledge this may impact my end result and I absolve Fitness First of all liability, losses and damage for any injury I may suffer as a result of my participation.
The Fitness First Get Fit Nutrition Programme has been formulated in conjunction with Sara Valentine at Valentine Nutrition.