Unlocking the secrets of weight loss

If you have read my blog will know I have struggled with weight loss over the years whether it’s a lack of motivation or simply not having the will power to succeed! It’s been a long  and painful journey!

As a child born in the 60s the food I ate at home and school was very different to what is available today, my Mum was a different generation and looking back there was not the nutritional awareness or variety that we have today of food types and diet.  Whilst the food was wholesome, I think back of the staple school dinners of pies, minced beef cobbler, vegetables and sponge puddings with custard I ask myself – was it really that healthy? My generation always ate school dinners and likely Mum cooked dinner in the evening when Dad came home from work. Perhaps by today’s standards of school dinners ours  were better but perhaps not as balanced. The food we had when I was a child was mainly cooked from scratch it wasn’t the over processed and fast food of recent years. Of course school dinners are a whole other issue #jamieoliver  #schooldinners and not a topic for today’s blog 

In my days of school, food and nutrition was not a subject that was widely available. PE or games was doing the activity not Learning about how the body works or responds to exercise and nutrition. Nowadays there is the option to learn more but should more time be spent in bringing these subjects into the general curriculum?

Of course Mum gave us a balanced diet at home but was it as healthy compared to today’s standards and have those bad eating habits developped through childhood lead the way to weight gain?

My Mum often says that she survived her pregnancy on chip butties as she could not tolerate other foods. I now know that did not help me in my body make up and the way I respond to food.

So how are the secrets to weight loss actually unlocked? Interestingly in his book The Obesity Code Jason Fung explores calorie deception, the new model of obesity what is wrong with our diet and the solution (amongst other aspects)

As a failed dieter and someone whose weight has gained after each relapse I can relate totally to his writings. My weight has steadily gained and in the last few years where my work has be come exceptionally stressful I can see the impact that has on my weight. I do now go  to the gym but only 2/3 times a week – This is not ideal but an improvement on not doing anything! No exceed isle is where I’d fallen to 6 months ago when my stress levels meant I could not be bothered to do anything. I don’t overreat, my diet is healthy but I can’t seem to kick start that weight loss. 

On Monday TOH and I decide to break the code with the suggested intermittent fasting. Monday was a total fast day and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I did it, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be! Tuesday I ate simply and to suggestions in the book and today Wednesday is another fast day. Ideally Friday I should fast too but I have a work BBQ so maybe just an evening meal! My aim is to try to follow the plan for 4 weeks doing the 36 hour fast protocol, i.e. fasting on 3 days a week to reset my homeostasis, my insulin levels and my body! Watch this space, please send your positive energy to my for success and I will report back to you!

Is sugar making you fat?

Since being more aware of what I am eating it’s shocking what you can discover!

“This generation of children will lead shorter lifespans of their parents, sugar has been pumped into so many low fat foods, the USDA has an inherent conflict of interest when it comes to US agriculture and setting dietary guidelines, big food doesn’t necessarily want us to know what we are eating, labels don’t tell the whole story, marketing to children is basically coopting their brains and wiring them at a very early age and we can actually do something about all of these things.” – Katic Couric (1a)

Katie Couric journalist, author and talk-show host is executive producer of her recent documentary ‘Fed Up,’ directed written and produced by Stephanie Soechtig a documentary which illustrates how sugar is impacting the health and well-being of American society. America is not alone, with obesity rates in Australia tipping near 30%, 31% in New Zealand, Canada is pushing near 25%, in Europe 23% of women and 20% of men are obese. These figures do not include the percentage of overweight people within these countries which pushes these numbers significantly higher. In some cases the combined percentage of populations that are either overweight or obese is almost 70%. For example in the UK 67% of men and 57% of women are either overweight or obese. Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar website outlines some of the health risks of high sugar diets and has links to some of the studies and research undertaken around sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Some of these include: sugar ages the body and causes wrinkles, increased risk of heart disease, increasing the risk of cancer and sugar increases your risk of diabetes A retrospective, worldwide study found small increases in sugar can lead to significant increases in diabetes rates. The white stuff makes you fat, a meta-analysis study published in the British Medical Journal shows increased sugar intake is significantly associated with weight gain and an increased risk of obesity in children having just one sweetened drink per day.(1)

‘Fed Up’ premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year which suggested Sugar may be the New Cigarettes? Fed Up traces back the last 35 years and makes a convincing case that big business is to blame. (When isn’t it?) The food industry responded to the McGovern Report by flooding the grocery aisles with “healthy” chips, cookies, drinks and cereals that cut fat while quietly upping the sugar. Since then, sugar consumption has doubled. It’s not because we’re pounding down the pound cakes — a breakfast of orange juice and a bowl of processed cereal maxes out our ideal sugar intake for the rest of the day. Sugar increases insulin, insulin increases fat storage. And it’s addictive. In a study Soechtig quotes, 93 percent of lab rats chose sugar water over cocaine. At this rate, in twenty years, 95 percent of the population will be obese, a crisis that affects every aspect of our country’s stability from health care spending to national defense. A group of retired military leaders is so alarmed by our out-of-shape society that they’ve issued a warning study called “Too Fat to Fight.” At that point in the screening, the slender actresses to the right of me tsk-tsked, but then Fed Up dropped a bomb: 40 percent of thin people are also fat, their internal organs padded with enough damaging blubber that they may as well be clinically obese. Behold, our new national paranoia: TOFI, or Thin Outside, Fat Inside. (2)

“The Government is subsidizing the obesity epidemic.” – Michael Pollan
Fed Up shows how the first dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. government 30 years ago overlooked the role of dietary sugar in increasing risks of obesity, diabetes, and associated ill-health outcomes, particularly in children. Since these guidelines effectively condoned unlimited addition of sugar to foods consumed by children, sugar consumption has greatly increased, obesity has skyrocketed, and generations of children have grown up far fatter than their parents. These children face impaired health and shorter lifespans as a result. The film upends the conventional wisdom of why we gain weight and lays bare the misinformation put forth on how to lose it. It reveals that far more of the American public gets sick from what they eat than anyone realized. The film traces the history of processed foods adding dangerous levels of sugar and sweeteners to their roster of ingredients. (It began in the late 1970s with the rise of low-fat foods and has intensified since then.) Doctors bemoan the rise of adult-onset diabetes in young children, as well as children suffering strokes and heart attacks at a very young age, due to their excessive intake of sugar.(3)

“There are 600,000 food items in America, 80% of them have added sugar.” – Dr Robert Lustig
“Fed Up” is a mixture of in-the-life coverage and a roster of talking heads that include former President Bill Clinton. Soechtig spent two years with a group of kids, documenting their efforts to improve their health through dieting and exercise. The tragedy, her film argues, is that the pervasiveness of the food industry and the misinformation it disseminates has stacked all the odds against them. Personal responsibility and freedom of choice has always been Big Food’s counter to accusations of public endangerment, but if the American people has been so intricately misled, where is the personal freedom to make the right decision for one’s health? If “Fed Up” is persuasive and passionate enough in making its argument, it could lead to a huge difference in how we view healthy consumption. (4)

Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing and author of One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

Sources

(1a) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tHq4_a0y9U

(1) http://iquitsugar.com/science/

(2) http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2014/01/fed-up-sugar-documentary.php

(3)http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/01/29/katie-couric-documentary/5019841/

(4) http://www.indiewire.com/article/sundance-curiosities-will-fed-up-be-the-last-straw-for-americas-food-industry

Country Obesity Statistics

http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/Factsheet-Overweight-and-obesity.pdf

http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/obesity

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canada-s-obesity-rates-triple-in-less-than-30-years-1.2558365

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/29/uk-western-europe-obesity-study

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2014001/article/11922-eng.htm#a7

http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/obesity/data-and-statistics

Lo carb kids

Taken from ditchthecarbs.com  Since reading this I am thinking more about my daughters lunch box and trying to educate her regarding food and wheat intake. Please read this article: 

All children will benefit from lowering their carb, sugar, and wheat intake. You don’t need to be so strict with children in the healthy weight range, as they are generally more insulin sensitive than adults are, so their body can deal with sugars and carbs more efficiently. Overweight children should be controlled quite tightly. Studies have shown that children eating a ”low carb high fat’ diet, loose more weight and keep it off far better than those on a ‘calorie restricted low fat diet’.

I have written a series on Low Carb Kids. There are some great infographics and printables to help planning lunch boxes easier.

Low Carb Kids 1 – tips and tricks
Low Carb Kids 2 – printable guide to get your kids involved. How to plan you lunchbox each day.
Low Carb Kids 3 – 2 weeks of school lunches and how to plan them.
Low Carb Kids 4 – how to make a low carb lunchbox, and more Low Carb lunchbox ideas

All children will benefit from drinking less soft drinks (and energy drinks are an absolute no-no), less cakes, less sweets, less ice cream, less chips and tomato sauce (and don’t even get me started on chicken nuggets and pizza). Their bodies are growing at a rapid rate, and if we don’t feed them the nutrients they need for all the complex mechanisms that are going on inside their body, we are setting them up for a very unhealthy future. It is so sad when some children exist on litres of soft drinks, hot chips, pies, McDonalds, KFC, Subway – DAILY. Next time you see a bunch of teenagers hanging out at the mall, what are they eating? Usually some kind of takeaway washed down with an energy drink. Zero nutrition. These are beautiful growing bodies who have an addiction to high energy foods, neglect whole foods, and are probably deficient in some area. Try and really think about what your children have eaten in the last week. Make a mental note or log into My Fitness Pal and track it.

This is a great little video from the daughters of Tim Naughton, maker of ‘Fat Head Movie’. To see all their videos, see my link on You Tube.

I want to teach my children about having a healthy lifestyle –

for their bodies to be well nourished (which is different from well fed)
to be able to concentrate at school
not eating to excess
enjoying treats
eating real whole food
making good choices
enjoy trying new foods (our family rule is “you don’t have to like them, but you do have to try them”)
being active is fun
health and nutrition are a priority
Children need good FATS – they keep you full for longer, contain essential fatty acids and supply the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Children need protein – building blocks of their growing muscles.

Children need carbohydrates – but no where near what people think. Even severely restricting carbohydrates, the body can still make it through gluconeogenesis from excess protein.

Children need vegetables – fibre, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, phytochemicals and all the other hundreds of compounds that haven’t even been discovered yet. Fruits and vegetables should not be seen as equal. Fruit is incredibly high in carbs,especially fructose. Eat whole fruits (and never fruit juice or dried fruits), as the whole fruit contains fibre and nutrients, but don’t consider they are equal as vegetables. Be aware of the fructose content of fruit, and limit to 1 or 2 pieces a day. Go for lower sugar fruit such as berries. Cut back on high sugar tropical fruits such as pineapple, melons, grapes, etc.

How many parents do you know where they just laugh and say their children just WON’T eat vegetables. It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure they are properly nourished. It’s your convenience of not having a battle at the dinner table that allows them to refuse vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it is easy, but establish a few family rules, one at a time, which let them know it is not negotiable. Go slowly as it may be a big change for some families. Be proud of what you have achieved. Little by little.

Our first family rule is they have to try everything. They don’t have to like it, but they have to try it
Keep introducing that food (maybe weekly) until they enjoy it, this may take forever, but you do get there
Get them to smother the food in something they do like to hide the taste (remember, they HAVE to eat some of it)
Flavour your vegetables. My children would turn up their noses at most greens until I made them silver beet carbonara, Asian greens etc. I almost cry when my youngest asks for more, a proud mum moment.
Put butter and cream cheese on the table instead of tomato sauce (way too processed and full of sugar). Let them flavour their own food. They have control and won’t battle so much.
Put twice as much of something on the plate as you know they will eat and then you can negotiate they only have to eat half (sneaky psychology, but man this one works).
Get them to choose what to go in their lunch boxes. I know what each of my children’s tastes are so make their lunchbox accordingly. I’m not saying I make totally different lunch boxes, but where one has tomatoes and feta, my youngest will have capsicum and carrots. I still add one thing a day to push them. At the moment it’s a cherry tomato each day for the boys. They know I will check each day to see if it has been eaten, if not, they have to eat it before they eat their afternoon tea.
I would say I am pretty good at what I feed them at home (all the pictures you see, are our actual meals), but I don’t restrict them in any way when they are at friends or at parties. No one likes a diet bore or a food restrictor. It would be great if other parents made good choices, but really, it’s not making up a huge part of their diet. This would be different of course if your child has a true food allergy or intolerance, but my children never have. My focus at home is always restrict the carbs and restrict poor food choices.

Eating out is a tough one. Most cafes sell cakes, muffins, donuts, sandwiches, juice, …. and sometimes there is no other choice. Thats ok, just make sure they have the best of what is there and NO juice. Save your $$$ and ask for a jug of water. Try and adapt what is on offer.

BEST LOW CARB TIP EVER!!!!

If we go to McDonalds, I always choose a small burger meal, but choose a diet coke and replace the fries with a side salad. I then open the burger and put the meat patties, sauces and cheese on top of the salad. Voila, the regular meal would have been 870 kCal, 133g carbs, my new meal is only 204kCal and 4g carbs!!!!! It just takes a bit of thinking. My children don’t drink many soft drinks but when they do I always get diet drinks if we are eating out, I know there is a lot of controversy about artificial sweeteners, but I personally choose them.

“STRIVE FOR IMPROVEMENT, NOT PERFECTION”