The Danger of Muffin Tops and Man Boobs!
So you think that your “muffin top”or your “man boobs”are telling you that you are a little overweight, but that does not mean you have any health problems? Think again. That little bit of excess body fat could be causing you more harm than you think. Excess body fat and its often close relative, insulin resistance, are key drives in the development of Metabolic Syndrome (previously known as Syndrome X).
What Is Metabolic Syndrome and Why Do I Need to Avoid It?
Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Having several of these risk factors puts you on the path that rapidly increases your risk of the major causes of death in our society.
So what are the risk factors? Firstly central abdominal obesity (a waist greater than 88cm in females or 104 cm in males), insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (as measured by a fasting blood sugar level), dyslipidaemia (irregular cholesterol and triglyceride levels), high blood pressure and fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic).
Are There Any Other Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome?
Look out for :
- Darkening and roughening of the skin, particularly behind the neck and/or skin tags;
- Mental health problems such as depression, memory loss and dementia;
- Migraines and headaches;
- In females, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, irregular or infrequent menstrual periods, infertility or early puberty;
- In males, low libido, erectile dysfunction, impotence or prostate problems;
- Sleep problems such as sleep apnoea, snoring, and daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
Sadly it is generally believed that our poor lifestyle habits are responsible for initiation of this syndrome.
Abdominal obesity (visceral body fat) is known to contribute to cholesterol problems, blood pressure and heart problems, blood clotting problems, increases inflammation, hyperglycaemia, glucose intolerance, and possibly renal problems. Maybe that extra serve of chips wasn’t such a good idea after all??
High calorie, nutrient poor foods, lack of exercise and poor stress management all contribute. The good news is – all of these factors are easily rectified when you make small, but regular lifestyle changes. Try eating ¼ of a cup of nuts every day, replace white flour with high protein or nut flours, use good fats such as olive oil instead of bad fats and eat fish regularly. In an age of fast living and fast foods, it is unfortunate that so many of us have forgotten how to cook and give our body the fuel that it craves for.
Love your burger and French fries? Do you have your pizza with extra cheese? Wonder where all the calories are going?
As you put on weight, you realize you are eating wrong, but it is very hard to make the necessary changes. Fast food is very addictive, and so is your morning cup of café latte. How about that chocolate soufflé? All these are comfort foods that our mind needs, but the body doesn’t.
We may control our diet when we are at home, but many of us tend to go overboard when we go out to eat since we are spoilt for choice. As such, we must keep in mind certain things when we dine out to help us burn those extra calories.
Study the menu card well. Avoid anything that is crispy or deep fried. If you are having a burger, discard the bun, since it is made of refined flour and be of no use to your body. Order a salad, but ensure that it has a low calorie dressing.
Say no to mayonnaise, cheese, crispy noodles, croutons etc. Instead, opt for a green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing. If you are ordering fish or poultry, ask for it to be broiled, steamed, baked, or grilled. In this way, you will avoid the unnecessary calories.
Anything pan fried, batter dipped, creamy, or crispy will have unhealthy fats. Instead, go for steamed vegetables. Even grilled chicken comes with mayo, cheese, or sour cream, so make sure you avoid these fattening dips. If you want to eat healthy, you have to plan your menu in advance. Decide what food items you want to avoid all together.
Drink lots of ice cold water. It not only makes you feel full, but also helps burn fat. Also, if you get hunger pangs, try chewing ice or gum. This sends a signal to your brain that you are having food.
Many of us usually love to have a late night snack and crave something sweet. Instead, have a bowl of chopped fruits. Have smaller meal portion when you eat; this can be achieved by using small plates and bowls so that you don’t fill up your plate unnecessarily.
Always brush your teeth after dinner. In this way, you will be motivated not to eat anything late at night. Moreover, the toothpaste will change the taste of most foods after you are done brushing and will not whet your appetite for more.
You can also add certain things to your healthy diet plan to ensure that you skip those extra calories. For instance, avoid the regular café latte, which contains about 190 calories. Start having green tea instead, as it is rich in antioxidants and helps fight cancer. It also boosts our metabolism, thus leading to faster digestion of food.
Instead of flour based cookies, try the oatmeal variants, as they consist of ‘good’ carbohydrates that ward off cholesterol. Their fat soluble fiber also help flush out the toxins from our body.
These are the many lifestyle changes you can adopt, so think before you eat, choose wisely, and remember- it really is not that difficult to maintain a balanced diet once you have made up your mind to remain fighting fit.
Are you on a fat loss diet? If so, there are a few mistakes you will want to avoid. These errors happen time and time again and take any well-meaning dieter away from their goals. By arming yourself with the following information, you can ensure you stay on track to greater success …
1. Not Tracking Calories Religiously. If there is one thing, everyone should do while dieting it is track calories. If you are serious about seeing the best results possible, you will find a way to make this happen. Yes, it can be a nuisance, but it is the way to guarantee you get the results you are after.
Eventually, you may get to the point of being able to eyeball servings but to start with – count, count, count.
2. Neglecting Your Fiber Intake . Do not forget your fiber intake! It is easy to leave fiber in the dust thinking it is just another carb so to be avoided. However, high fiber diets produce favorable weight loss results. You are better off eating more fiber even if it means eating a few extra carbs some of the time.
Besides, fiber is just plain healthy. It keeps you regular, helps to balance blood sugar, and can aid in the prevention of heart disease.
3. Thinking "Calorie-Free = Weight Loss Friendly." Another mistake you will want to avoid is thinking "calorie-free means weight loss friendly." Too many people get caught up in this trap because it would seem to make sense.
If a portion of food does not contain any calories, how could it impact your body weight? However, here is the deal: sometimes calorie-free foods can cause food cravings to set in, and these food cravings can leave you wanting foods you otherwise would not be eating.
If this occurs, you will be taking in calories you need to avoid, and this is what will lead to weight gain.
4. Eating Too Few Calories Each Day. The last weight loss mistake to avoid is eating too few calories each day This one may seem silly – how could a low-calorie intake be a problem? Eating too few calories each day will set you up for …
- a slower metabolism,
- binge eating, and quite possibly,
- lean muscle mass loss.
It is just not something you want to do as a calorie is the amount of energy needed to convert a certain amount of food to fuel
There you have four fat loss mistakes it would be a good idea to avoid. Are you falling for any of these?
Gout is easily the worst form of arthritis and is the only one known to be caused by the foods you eat. While, this seems strange, it’s reassuring to know that with a few simple changes in the food you eat you can get your gout symptoms under control and get back to your true self quickly. Gout symptoms are similar to other arthritis symptoms in the pain in the joints, inflammation, mobility issues and sometimes fever or other symptoms caused by the inflammation. The most well known gout foods are those that come from animals and the sea. Among them are hearts, kidneys, livers, sardines, and smelt. You may be thinking, you would never eat those items and certainly don’t have them as a part of your regular diet. Well, what about bacon, veal, turkey or salmon? These are extremely common foods that you may eat weekly and are high in purines, thus causing gout symptoms.
These are certainly the foods to avoid when you are suffering from gout symptoms, but you can also change your diet to avoid having the symptoms in the first place. This is a great plan of action to avoid having the pain and mobility issues of gout and arthritis in general. If you work with your doctor and an experienced nutritionist who knows how to put together a gout resistant diet for you, you will see the benefits and make your life more livable. Gout doesn’t have to rule your life and you should always be looking for ways to make your life better and easier to live. Gout is painful and when foods are the primary cause of any medical condition, this gives hope that there is a way to find a solution fast.
Gout foods are those high in purines, and often proteins, so to get your gout symptoms under control you need to take a hard look at the symptoms you are experiencing and the foods you are eating to find out how you can cut down on the symptoms you’re experiencing by cutting down on the high purine foods you’re eating.
The Keto Diet has become quite a popular topic in the fitness community. It has been found to aid in the loss of weight and lowering the inflammation in the gut. New research has shown positive effects for both men and women adhering to a keto style diet.
What is the Keto Diet?
First, a keto, or ketogenic diet, is designed to keep your body in more of a ketosis state. Ketosis is not abnormal. It is a state where your body is low on carbohydrate fuel. When this occurs, it starts to burn fat, rather than the carbs. The process produces ketones. The average person does not stay in a ketogenic state except during heavy exercise, such as CrossFit, or during pregnancy.
A ketogenic diet promotes very low carbohydrate and higher fat intake. The body will in turn, use fat to produce energy. This diet has also been shown to decrease autoimmune diseases, endocrine diseases, and also has cancer fighting properties.
Ketosis can be an issue with diabetics. This can occur if not using enough insulin.
How does Keto benefit CrossFit athletes?
As stated earlier, a ketogenic diet helps to burn fat, thus losing weight. This low carb diet is similar to the Paleo Diet. We are a strong proponent of Paleo because it promotes higher protein for fuel instead of carbs. As we stated earlier, the keto diet uses fat rather than protein for fuel. A keto and paleo diet both burn fat while maintaining muscle.
An athlete exercising at a high level, such as CrossFit, will see increased energy and fat loss, without decreasing muscle mass.
Why is the Keto Diet good for women?
The benefits of being a woman on this diet are surprisingly good. In addition to the weight loss and muscle gain, a keto diet has an amazing way of helping the endocrine system. We all realize the effect hormones have on the woman athlete.
Fluctuating hormones can cause pain, fatigue, and even depression. The link between hormones and cancer cannot be denied. A keto diet has shown to better regulate the endocrine system. By doing this, it decreases the incidence of some cancers, thyroid disease, and diabetes.
How does a women initiate a keto diet?
Slowly and carefully. A keotgenic diet should not be started at a full 100 percent. You should slowly decrease the amount of carbs you consume. Cutting the carbs too quickly can actually have a negative effect. It can stress the body and confuse it, thus causing a wild imbalance.
Also, if pregnant or nursing, you should not use a keto diet. During this period, eat a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains.
My best advice, get your body as stable as possible, and then slowly incorporate a ketogenic diet.
To Your Fitness,
The CrossFit Team