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For a very simple and easy way to lose weight, try boredom. This is the conclusion of s study done by the University of Buffalo in New York State. People who eat the same meals every day consume fewer calories as they become less interested in their food. In a trial, women were give macaroni cheese for one week; by the end of the week they were eating 100 fewer calories per meal then they normally would. However, eating the same meal just once a week led to the opposite effect; calorie consumption increased a little bit every time.
“Reducing variety may be an important component of interventions for obesity” said the researchers.
There are lots of tips and ideas for those wanting to lose weight on our website here.
For holiday makers and in particular businessmen subjected to lots of flights, jet lag can be debilitating and downright horrid. Here are some tips on overcoming jet lag..
The general rule is that it takes one day per hour of time change to recover when going east, a little less when going west. Some drugs help to combat the effects of jet lag in relation to sleep problems. Melatonin and modafinil both help to support hormones that regulate our sleep/wake cycle. They are both legal in the U.K. but you should consult your doctor before taking them.
If you can, start to adjust to the new time zone before you leave. Three days is usually a good start. So for a flight east, three days before you go you should force yourself to go to bed an hour earlier and wake up an hour earlier, increasing this each night. Reverse the process for trips to the west.
When you arrive at your destination use light exposure to regulate sleep patterns. Get as much sunlight as you can (you can use lamps if you are in a dark country or travelling in winter) in the morning or at least before noon. In the late afternoon try to close curtains and stay out of bright sunlight. It sounds silly, but dark sunglasses can help too.
Don’t drink too much alcohol or caffeine. These dehydrate you and exaggerate the effects of jet lag. Instead drink as much water as you can
Move about on the flight as much as possible and do exercises – most airlines have a little book of exercises that you can do in your seat. These will help keep the metabolic rate going to reduce tiredness and stiffness upon arrival.
Get some exercise. High intensity aerobic intervals help to stimulate the endocrine system and regulate sleep/wake patterns. Exercise is also a great way to keep alert for any important meetings.
A new government initiative would see the size of biscuits reduced and the recipes made healthier in a bid to reduce our waistlines.
In a nutshell, here is the DDW summary: nanny state sees population getting fat. Nanny state dreams up crazy scheme (involving at least 8 committees and large sums of taxpayers cash) that will make us fatter and make the food companies more money.
Subsequent to the report everyone eats twice the amount of biscuits, believing them to be tiny and now healthy. Struggling A&E departments are overrun with heart attach victims. Big food doubles profits due to higher margins due to higher prices and smaller product. Politicians receive large sums or donations fro big food to carry on the good work.
But don’t worry, it’s just a proposal. That’s what governments do. Come up with proposals. Debate. Change mind. Vote against. Go on long holiday. Get paid. Yay!
Ok, so you have been making an effort and have been doing some exercise (with your personal trainer I hope). Now for the hard bit; keeping it going and keeping fit.
Six tips to hang in there…
1 – Keep it regular. It’s much more effective and also physically and mentally easier to do a small amount often than letting it slide only to try a mammoth session to make up for your previous slackness. This will just put you off. No matter how old you are it is essential to part of your daily (ideally) or weekly routine. Studies have shown that it only takes about three weeks to build a habit. So do it for that long and you are there.
2 – Don’t go it alone. Support is vital. Sign up for a regular class, get a PT or do at least one session a week with a friend. Not only will this provide motivation and encouragement, but accountability as well. It will make the exercise harder to forgo.
3 – Food food food. Staying healthy and trim is as much, if not more, about nutrition than exercise. Plan ahead right from the supermarket shop, surrounding yourself with good things. Have a treat from time to time too.
4 – Integrate. Cardio is not enough on its own. Weights will increase your resting metabolic rate, bone density and overall heart and functional fitness. They are a vital part to keeping fit.
5 – Monitor. Use science to help stay on track. Chart your weight with the scales, wear a heart rate monitor to see how hard you are actually going (you should always be working at least around 60% of maximum heart rate; work this out by taking your age away from 220. This is your theoretical maximum, go from there). There are also lots of apps for smart phones that really work well to track workouts, eating, calorie intake, the lot!
6 – It’s lifestyle, not a means to an end. Having a finite target is great, but look at exercise as a way of life. Your life will be so much better for it…trust me. Just keep at it. Remember that things have to be challenging to be truly rewarding.
It may have been fairly chilly up until this week, but the summer is just around the corner, and most of Britain knows it.
Swimsuit fear has already kicked in, as many start to count the calories this week, shows research.
XLS Medical a weight loss aid company, did research showing that 50% of the UK population will start a diet in preparation for their holiday. A 12-week diet starting today will have you in shape for the start of the summer holidays – Wednesday, July 18.
Juliet Oosthuysen, spokeswoman forXLS medical, says: “As a guide, dieters should aim to lose around one to two pounds each week. Research shows that dieters are far more likely to maintain a healthy weight long term at this rate.”
With this steady target in mind, those who start today could lose up to 24 pounds (just under two stone) in a sustainable and healthy way.
Now might indeed be the time to start thinking about the summer bikini. Leave it later and the temptation to try a faddy diet like the Atkins diet or the Ducan diet may be too strong; but beware. Weight lost too quickly and/or through the wrong means will lead to physiological and psychological changes that mean you will be unable to hold the weight off. Indeed, research shows that you will most likely end up fatter than when you started…not a good look in a two piece. Slow and step by step changes to eating are the easiest to stick too, and are also those that are more likely to become habitual.
Oosthuysen says: “Instead of thinking about the weeks and months ahead on your weight-loss journey, simply concentrate on what’s immediately in front of you, such as, ‘What am I going to cook for dinner? Shall I walk to the shops or take my bike?’”
Dr Matt Capehorn, clinical director at the National Obesity Forum, also commented, saying: “Starting a diet now gives dieters a reasonable time frame in which to lose weight steadily for their summer holidays. It’s important not to fall into the trap of last minute crash dieting, which is often unsuccessful and can play havoc with blood sugar levels and appetite cravings.”
As a result, he explains, dieters can end up gaining weight as they struggle to cope with changes brought on by such extreme measures.
It is also important not to neglect the role that activity plays in weight loss. Even without a structured exercise program, small changes to your routine can add as much as 500 calories a day to your energy output; take a look at our article on NEAT (non exercise thermogenic activity).
And remember that one of the best ways to increase daily energy output is to build lean muscle through strength training.
Back in the depths of winter (so a few weeks ago) Windsor Observer journalist Hannah Shroot began her research into the DDW Windsor bootcamp. This involved doing a month’s worth of classes in all weather. She even came when it was raining and did all the burps, push ups and jumping squats asked of her. Her article will feature in the Windsor Observer tomorrow (Wednesday the 17th of April) so big thanks to her for making the effort and also to the photographer who came along to take pictures of us looking far from glam.
If you want to get fit in Windsor then the Windsor bootcamp is a fun option for those not keen on traditional military style exercise classes. There is no shouting, class members get to choose exercises, there’s lots of team work as well as some hard exercise guaranteed to get you fit and trim. We are also happy to help boot campers with exercise tips, homework programmes and nutritional advice.
Nutrition for children is often seen to be less important that eating in adults. They are growing, after all, so surely they can have what they want? Not entirely. The most recent large scale survey in the UK reveals some startling facts; 25% of boys and 33% of girls aged between 2 and 19 are overweight or obese. The trend is upwards and shows little sign of slowing. Obesity has been shown to shorten life by an average of 9 years and costs the country around £2 billion a year. In addition, children who are overweight are much more likely to stay that way into adulthood; our tastes are shaped by what we eat when we are little.
The rise in overweight children has also added an element of safety in numbers. Parents are becoming so used to seeing children who are overweight that they are failing to recognise the condition in their own children. A recent study at the University of Plymouth revealed that 3/4 of parents failed to recognise an overweight child, more than half of fathers perceived their child’s weight to be “about right” when in fact they were obese and one in ten parents expressed concern that their child was underweight when in fact they were overweight.
The basic reason for this increase in child obesity is of course that children are eating too many fatty processed foods while not doing enough exercise.
Use the following tips to ensure your child grows up a healthy and happy weight:
We all have been told that white bread is bad for us. But how bad? The answer is very; one slice contains the same as 4 sachets of sugar. one bagel is the same as 4 slices of white bread. TRy to encourage bread avoidance and encourage whole foods.
Children should only eat a handful of carbohydrates in a single meal. If cooking pasta or rice try to make sure that it is the wholemeal variety which has more fibre and will release its energy more slowly.
Be careful and aware about salt. There is more salt in nearly every type of precessed food than you would imagine. 4-6 year olds should only have 3g a day. Two slices of toast with butter contain nearly two thirds of that. One serving of ketchup contains nearly 1g. many cereals contain more salt than a bag of crisps. Read the label!
Sugar is also everywhere. Seemingly healthy fruit smoothies contain the same amount of sugar as a full fat coke. Cereals are again guilty, containing lots of hidden sugar, the exceptions being Weetabix, shredded wheat, all bran and porridge. All fruit juices also contain large quantities of sugar.
Celebrities, nutritionists, scientists and trainers have all warned about the dangers of starchy processed carbohydrates.
As a stone age being, we evolved to crave these sources of energy as they are the ones most easily digested and converted into blood glucose. More bang for the buck as it were, as these carbohydrates are easily used by the body for energy; particularly useful if you need an instant demand for energy in order to escape a sabre toothed tiger.
But fast forward to the new millennium and our sedentary lifestyles mean that although we are still super efficient at storing energy, especially from starchy, processed carbohydrates, we just aren’t using as much. All the easily covered fuel is not being used for energy, so instead is stored as fat.
Governments and big food have also played their part. Mass farming techniques and subsidies coupled with uninformed government advice on nutrition led to a huge increase in the amount of starchy carbohydrates consumed post war and in particular through the 1970s.
In 1977 the McGovern committee released its “Dietary goals for the United States”. Although their recommendations had little scientific grounding, government in the US adopted them. Despite widespread scientific condemnation at the time, the advice was to increase carbohydrates eaten to 50-60% of energy intake. This corresponded to a large rise in obesity rates that continue to this day.
This advice still resonates today. We are programmed to believe that a meal should be built around pasta, potatoes or similar starchy carbs. These foods contain no nutrients that can’t be found elsewhere often in superior form. Many fruits and vegetables contain similar carbohydrates but also contain more micronutrients and fibre. Fibre is important as it means that the carbohydrate in food takes longer to digest, slowing down the rate at which sugar is released into the blood. This in turn produces less insulin, the main fat storage hormone.
The same properties are found in whole unrefined carbohydrates like brown rice. These foods, along with a diet rich in protein with plenty of meat, fish, eggs, pulses, unprocessed fats like butter, plant oils, vegetables and fruit provide a much healthier diet than the traditionally favoured pasta, potatoes and bread.
Couscous is not the only healthy, fibre rich source of carbohydrate. Look instead to the Middle East for interesting and healthy grains.
By Robert Atkinson
Women are more likely than men to experience adverse effects from lack of sleep, a new study has concluded. The study, headed by Edward Suarez of Duke University in North Carolina found that for women, poor sleep is closely associated with high levels of psychological distress, greater feelings of hostility, depression and anger.
The study, which analysed the sleeping habits of 210 people, also found that the same amount of sleep deprivation in men did not have the same negative effects. The negative and angry feelings experienced by women were also found to be more pronounced in the morning. Women were also more likely to suffer from common illnesses if they did not sleep well over time. These include heart disease, depression and mental illness.
Many similar studies have proven that an active lifestyle and structured exercise can help with sleep. So keep moving, exercise, try to relax for at least half an hour before bed and also avoid caffeine for at least three hours before bedtime!
Being at the coal face of fitness as it were, or should I say as one of Berkshire’s leading personal trainers, I haver tried (and destroyed) many, many pairs of earphones over the years. From rowing to weights to running to climbing to kitesurfing (yes, really) I have test ridden earphones for exercise from the expensive to the cheap. So what are the best earphones for working out?
Not many can deal with lots of sweat. One good dousing is enough for most to start coughing, spluttering, or not working altogether. Some are specifically marketed as “sports” headphones” but can barely handle a 5 minutes run in anything over 10 degrees.
Some to avoid: the expensive version of the iPod headphones look good, sound great, but trust me, they will break. Sooner rather that later. I have been through 3 pairs of these (more fool me), and you would be better off saving your money and going on an underwater basket weaving course. Here they are
Rated as very highly recommended in the media are the Marley jamming collection. What hifi gave them 5 stars. However mine broke after 1 use. Although the earphones carried on working the remote did not. Here they are.
I’ve tried may different types of high level ones too, Denon and Shure sound great but don’t exercise in them, they can’t take the sweat.
Over the ear types like these are pretty good, but I find that they get a little uncomfortable after more that 45 minutes use.
So what’s the DDW top recommendation. Not only are they cheap as chips at £9.99 but they sound very nearly as good as earphones well over £100. They can take the sweat of 5 sets of 10 minute intervals on a rowing machine in a hot gym, and I have even put them through a 40 degree cycle on the washer and they came out tops. They sit in the ear well and still feel OK even after an hour.
The DDW choice is the Maxell Metallics digital earphones. If they should ever break, just get another pair. Good top end, nice rounded lows, not the usual dominant brassy middle that so many earphones have and great value.
PS Apple MP3 players, although marketed for “Sports” use, do not like sweat either. The slightest drop can be fatal, and when you take it to the store they will get their doctor’s ear microscope out, sigh, comment that the water indicator has gone off and say that you are not covered for water damage. Get a gel case!