Had a nice short trip to Algarve in Portugal, met up with my amazing friends who are also PT's. We all met when we were studying at EIF, training up to be PT's, so this was a nice reunion. Only a short 3 night trip, a bit of sight seeing, catch up, nice foods, wine and most important of all a break from it all. We all need breaks, off days, chill out days,rest days whatever you want to call them...now feeling re-charged and ready to get back into working my clients butt's off! :P Here are some beach photo's we took. Modelled by Natasha (StartFit PT) and Ricardo (Push Me Up PT). Definitely want to go back soon!
A client recently asked me if popcorn is a good choice of snack? It certainly is, especially comparing to heavy weights foods you would normally snack on such as chocolate digestive biscuits or a pack of minstrels. It is a great way to beat your cravings, whilst keeping your carbs in check. Stick to popcorn without added sugar's or toppings such as toffee or heavily salted versions or this healthy treat can become evil!
Popcorn is also handy when you have friends and family around. I know alot of my clients feel the need to offer treats at social events or need to pick at a snack when chatting themselves. Popcorn is a great choice, being a wholegrain its jam packed full of fibre and due to its low calories per gram, a lot goes a long way for its size!
I love the crunch of popcorn as well! Those who have crisps cravings this is the perfect alternative for you to satisfy that crunch feeling and your savoury taste buds.
Give it a go! :)
The term GI or Glycemic Index is in the news, your mates in work talk about it, you read about it in magazines, but what is it?
Glycemic Index (GI) is the measure of how long it takes for carbohydrates to be broken down and absorbed into the bloodsteam. The scale of GI rates from Low GI (<55), Medium GI (56-69) and High GI (70>)
Low GI foods are slowly absorbed and converted into glucose or energy. They encourage steady release of insulin and promote more consistent blood sugar and energy levels. This is potentially useful if you are looking to lose weight and extremely helpful if you are diabetic and want to reduce spikes in your blood sugar levels. Low GI foods also help you reduce binges due to the steadier blood sugar levels, this will help prevent urges to snack and eat between meals. They also promote hormone balances and keep energy levels and moods consistent over time.
High GI foods are rapidly converted into glucose or energy. They tend to cause peaks in blood sugar levels and are more suitable for energy recovery after high intensity exercises. High GI foods cause fluctuating blood sugar levels which will cause peaks and troughs in our energy levels and even our moods. When you are trying to improve your nutrition and diet and looking to lose weight, you want to try reduce high GI foods throughout the day as much as possible and only eat high GI foods after workouts and try to minimize how much. i.e Don't drink a full bottle of lucozade, but instead try having a banana.
Unfortunately trying to base your entire diet on the GI of each food is not that simple but it's a fantastic starting point to review your current nutrition and make very simple changes. There are foods which change GI levels, as banana's ripen their GI changes and become higher GI. Also when you mix alot of ingredients together and make meals the influence of all the different carbs and GI levels will impact our insulin levels. So this needs to be taken into consideration when choosing your meal choices.
Just to add to the glycemic department - there is also the Glycemic Load (GL) this factors in the actual amount of carbs in the serving itself. The best example of this would be watermelon. Which is high GI, but due to the little amount of carbs it has and high water content the GL is low. As far as dieting and healthy eating goes watermelon is high GI but perfectly fine to eat if trying to sustain a balance healthy diet.
To summarise, try switching your high GI carbs for low GI carbs. You will feel better instantly, feel more full and feel more energised. Try stick to medium to high GI carbs after an intense workout to replenish energy levels quickly. If you need to snack, again try snack on low GI foods which will keep hunger at bay and eliminate the cravings. With these simple changes you will be on your way to losing weight and becoming fitter and healthier.
It is extremely important especially when dieting and exercise that you get enough sleep every night. Ideally you are looking at 7-8 hours sleep. I know this may be difficult at certain times especially if you have a newborn baby, or work long shifts, or need to get up to take the kids to school etc, but before you disregard the importance of sleeping please read a few benefits and a few signs of lack of sleep and the effects and I hope this may encourage you to try find the time for those extra hours of sleep.
- Reduces stress
- Better weight control
- You can concentrate better
- Better memory
- Reduce risk of depression/mood swings
- Helps the body make repairs
- Less likely to get ill
Signs of lack of sleep
- Need an alarm clock in order to wake up on time
- Rely on the snooze button
- Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning
- Feel sluggish in the afternoon
- Get sleepy in meetings, lectures, or warm rooms
- Get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving
- Need to nap to get through the day
- Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing in the evening
- Feel the need to sleep in on weekends
- Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed
Effects due to lack of sleep
- Fatigue, lethargy, and lack of motivation
- Moodiness and irritability
- Reduced creativity and problem-solving skills
- Inability to cope with stress
- Reduced immunity; frequent colds and infections
- Concentration and memory problems
- Weight gain
- Impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents
- Difficulty making decisions