Personal Training Articles

Detoxification

Detoxification is the removal of toxins from the body, be it from food, drink, cigarettes and the environment. Food preservatives, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and pesticides are common offenders. The body needs to be working as efficiently as possible to lose weight fast. If your body organs are working at maximum efficiency you will shed weight quicker. Detoxing can assist by cleansing your liver and colon, easing the burden on your kidneys, flushing out your bowels and increasing your feeling of wellbeing

The liver is an essential part of the body and it is crucial for it to function properly for a human being to lead a healthy life. Liver detoxification offers a lot of benefits such it eliminates all the poisonous toxins from the body and improves the body's digestion process. This process also helps in increasing the immunity of the body by draining out junk particles. Due to correct digestion process taking place, the body is also able to keep control of the cholesterol levels. Liver detoxification cleanses the body of the unnecessary junk present in the middle portion of the body that not only leads to creation of toxins but also increases the weight around that area. It also helps in increasing the energy level in the body. Gives you a slimmer stomach

There are many types of detox diet, here are just a few of the more simpler options.

Water fasting (24 hours)

Try and do this on a non-active day as your energy levels will be really low, Sunday may be a good idea. Have a good source of water available, maybe buy bottled or use a water filter. Green tea and sparkling water is also beneficial for this fasting day. A week before the fast, start to minimise all sugar, fat and caffeine, and eat lots of raw fruit and veg and freshly squeezed juices. Also, start to take a herbal cleanser. Eat your last meal no later than 8pm the night before your fast.

Start the fasting day with 2 glasses of water. Take your herbal cleanser and combine with a cup of green tea. From this point drink water continuously throughout the day, especially at points when you get hunger pains (probably be a good idea to be close to a toilet). Keep the water as cool as possible. At lunch time try a bottle of sparkling water, sip slowly. It is a good idea to squeeze a lemon or lime in to your drinks to add some flavour. Continue in to the afternoon, hunger pains will come and go, this is the detoxification process beginning to take place. Have another cup of green tea. Keep forcing the water down up until 8pm, have another green tea if needed. At 8pm, partially break the fast by having a glass of watered down pure orange or grape juice. An hour later have a bowl of sliced apple and pear. Do not have your normal full meal, eat light and go to bed.

In the morning have another 2 glasses of water and a light breakfast of porridge or muesli with blueberries/raspberries/blackberries, use skimmed or unsweetened soya milk.

Juice fasting (24 hours or more)

The idea here is to have a juice drink for every meal, drinking plenty of water in between. Try and use organic fruit and veg where possible, or peel skins off / wash things. A combination of fruit and veg is recommended for each meal time drink. If you are really struggling, have 1 light meal at some point during the day, with all the other meals being juices.

Use celery, carrots, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, corjet, sprouts and cucumber, radish, peppers, watercress, tomato, and kiwi, apples, pineapple, cranberry, oranges, grapefruit, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc. Check internet sites for tasty concoctions.

Juice fasting is safer than water fasting because it supports the body nutritionally while cleansing and may even produce a better detoxification and quicker recovery time. Your stomach will shrink back to its original size (size of your fist) if you can prolong this detox for up to 3 days. A blender is essential to be able to do this diet effectively.

Benefits of juice fasting include improved digestion, transforms a poor diet, reforms eating habits, reduces cravings, body purification, improves state of health and ultimately weight loss. A healthy body does not easily gain weight. A healthy body will urge you to exercise and eat lighter because storing food is a drain on the organs and metabolism. Adding juices to your diet will improve your health and help you lose weight in following ways: your true appetite Improves, improves digestion and elimination, increases metabolism and corrects body malnutrition.

Raw food detox (24 hours or more)

Raw food sounds far from exciting, but does give you pure, fresh, vibrant, enzyme-rich, oxygen-rich, whole organic living. Every time we cook food or buy something pre-prepared in a box, bag or can, we lose up to 70% of the vitamins, some minerals, all the enzymes, all the oxygen, the important plant feel-good hormones and a high percentage of water, all of which is essential for truly vibrant health. Raw food by contrast is complete with everything that enabled it to sprout and grow in the first place - life force, enzymes, water, oxygen, hormones, vitamins and minerals. It has no hidden ingredients, nothing messed with, just pure fresh live food that we are designed to eat.

There are a list of 20+ different raw food groups, fresh fruits, vegetables, salad vegetables, leafy green vegetables, herbs and wild greens, nuts, dried fruits, beans, pulses, grains, seeds vegetable seeds, edible flowers, mushrooms, sea vegetables, stimulants (chilli, ginger, onion) etc. Trying raw foods will broaden your culinary horizons and if you get a good raw food cook book you'll be surprised by what can be achieved - burgers, pizza, ice-cream, cakes, cookies, smoothies, soups, dips, dressings, wraps etc.

Examples of meals include:

For breakfast - melon or watermelon, 2 or 3 apples and pecans or macadamia nuts, berries mixed with spinach and avocado.

For lunch - green leafy salad with celery, walnuts and squeezed lemon juice + 1 or 2 oranges, green leafy salad with corjet, cucumber, tomato, squeezed orange on for dressing, freshly made vegetable juice with 50% green veg and 50% apples and pears.

For dinner -spinach and watercress salad, with 3 avocado and squeezed lemon juice , homemade mixed vegetable soup, fajitas - chop peppers, mash avocado, onion, jalapenos, squeezed lime juice, wrap up in large lettuce leaves.

For snacks - pears, apples, tangerines, grapefruit, oranges, mango, berries, celery / carrot sticks, almonds, pecons, macadamia nuts, pumpkin / sunflower seeds

If you want more meal options just give me a shout and i'll put some more together.

The raw food detox is again, effective in terms of losing weight. This detox is also linked to more energy, healthier skin, a reduced risk of heart disease and better digestion. In addition raw foods are easy to digest, provide maximum amount of energy with minimal bodily effort and contain healing powers to alleviate many illnesses.

Summary

For people who are hitting a plateau with their weight loss efforts, try 1 of the options above for just 1 day. The water option would be hard to sustain for more than a day, whereas the other 2 could be kept going for up to 3 days or more, obviously the longer you go for, the more positive the outcome, especially in terms of weight loss. Or you could even try 1 day of each diet. This is not something that i would want you to do for a long period of time, but maybe try it maybe once a month, for a day or so, just to reboot the system, and kickstart your metabolism again. Do not try this to any extreme if you are pregnant or diabetic.

The raw food diet is in essence what i would like you to work towards long term, but obviously you need to phase back in good sources of protein - chicken, beans, all varieties of fish, eggs and good carbs - whole grains, quinoa, oats, low fat yoghurt, brown rice. Its all about "RECLAIMING YOUR HEALTH". Many of you guys have let yourself go over a series of years and need to get back to basics in terms of diet, almost caveman like mentality (things you can grow or kill). By adopting this type of diet i have been describing and exercising 3+ times a week, either with me or on your own, you will get down to your desired weight and probably a lot quicker than you think. Also, remember to drink lots of water and green / tulsi tea.

From a personal point of view i always have fruit for breakfast, usual a variety of berries with porridge or muesli with low fat yoghurt. I try to get a variety of salad on board around lunch time and always have some form of steamed veg in the evening. I have various fruit, assorted nuts and seeds for mid morning and afternoon snacks and drink as much water as possible. I also buy some, but not all organic produce, as it is expensive.


What are the problems associated with men carrying excess body fat around the stomach area???

Men who gain belly fat around the mid-section are at a greater risk of serious health problems such as - heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and in extreme circumstances death. Men are more likely than women to gain weight around the waist area. Your waist size is obviously a good indicator in showing you if you are carrying too much belly fat or not.

The problem with belly fat is that it is active, it works like a separate organ, releasing substances that are harmful to your body. Abdominal fat bears the blame for many health problems because it resides within striking distance of your heart, liver, and other organs, pressing on them, feeding them poisons, and messing with their daily function.

What are the main causes of beer bellies?

  • Poor diet: eating too much, eating the wrong type of foods, eating at the wrong times
  • Lack of exercise : being inactive will accelerate chances of weight gain
  • Alcohol - drinking too much is another big factor, mostly converted to fat by the liver and just sits around the stomach area, very high in calories.
  • Stress: work/home stress can cause over-eating to calm nerves, this is a result of changes in hormone levels, mainly cortisol.
  • Genetics: Your body type relates to the areas where you store excess fat, family body type can often be seen.
  • Age: as you get older you lose muscle, especially if you are not physically active. Muscle loss slows down your metabolism (rate at which you burn calories). So if you don't watch your food intake and you are inactive, the likelihood is you will gain weight.

Top tips for getting rid of beer bellies?

  • Exercise regularly: 3-4 times per week. A combination of cardio work, weights and bodyweight activities is useful. Try and do 30-60mins in duration. Join a gym or use the park, try classes, bootcamps or personal trainers. Basically you need to burning off more calories than you are putting back in to the body through food.
  • Change your diet: Try and cut out as much processed food as possible. Eat fresh produce, try a variety of fruit and veg, eat organic where possible too. Change your diet to one that is high in protein, but lower in carbs that it was before, have lean cuts of meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, cut down on pasta, rice, potatos and try to cut out bread.
  • Drink lots of water: Cut out all alcohol, tea and coffee. Drink plenty of water, with the odd cup of green tea. This will help clear your body of toxins, hydrate you, and speed up your metabolism.
  • Get a good nights sleep: 7-8 hours.

Its not all about dieting, its about making lifestyle changes which are sustainable. You need to reclaim your health. Make subtle changes to your diet, be as active as you can, find activities that you enjoy doing, maybe get friends and family involved where possible. Any weight loss does not need to be quick, a steady few pound a weeks is realistic, sustainable and a better chance of it staying off long term.


Sports Drinks and Running Performance

The UK is one of the biggest consumers of sports drinks. These drinks are not cheap and have a high sugar content, so not too good for your teeth. With more and more people, particularly athletes consuming sports drinks, what do they actually do? Do they help your levels of performance?

The importance of sports drinks

Sports drinks are primarily concerned with rehydration, but are also used to top up your short term energy stores. Everybody knows that when you exercise you sweat and lose fluid. Too much fluid loss results in dehydration, which is detrimental to both your performance and general health. A loss of just 2% in bodyweight can reduce your aerobic capacity by 10-20%, while an 8% drop can cause dizziness, laboured breathing and confusion.

Drinking water during exercise is beneficial, but only up to a period of 30 minutes, or up to an hour if you are working at a low intensity. If you are exercising moderately-hard for up to an hour or over, then the sports drink is option you should be taking. Countless studies within this subject area have shown sports drinks to enhance performance, particularly delaying fatigue and preventing dehydration. Water gets absorbed quickly through the stomach, stimulates urine output, so you retain less fluid, needing to drink more, whereas the carbohydrate levels in a sports drink help rehydrate you more quickly and for longer.

Whats the difference between the various sports drinks?

There are two main types of sports drink, one replaces fluids (hypotonic and isotonic drinks) and the other provides energy (hypertonic). Hypotonic drinks are absorbed faster than water and tend to be used by gymnasts and jockeys who want rehydration, but without extra calories. Isotonic drinks are absorbed as fast or faster than water. Most sports drinks are in this category, lucozade sport is probably the best known. These drinks are ideal for most athletes, providing both rehydration and refueling. Hypertonic drinks are absorbed slower than water, with their main feature being refueling. These are popular with endurance runners. It must be noted that you do need an isotonic drink with these to rehydrate.

Before you exercise always make sure you are well hydrated. Water should be fine, but if you are taking part in high intensity exercise then it may be beneficial to have an isotonic sports drink. During exercise, drink three to four sips of an isotonic sports drink every ten minutes. In an endurance event you should also take a hypertonic drink for energy. Post-exercise, isotonic or hypotonic drinks are better than water for rehydration, especially if you train twice a day. A major tip is never go in to a race using a sports drink you havn't tried out on at least 2 occasions before whilst training.

Sports drinks in the everyday diet

Sports drinks will not do you any harm if you are drinking them with no intention of exercise, but it won't do you any good either. There drinks will just provide extra calories with no real nutritional value. In addition, research also suggests that these drinks are worse for your teeth than coke and other fizzy drinks. To minimise problems, try drinking through a straw or drink quickly, not swilling the drink around in your mouth. Cold drinks also apparently do less damage and are more palatable after exercise too.

Whats on the market?

Lucozade Sport (thelssa.co.uk)
Gatorade (gatorade.com)
Powerade (poweradegb.com)
Isostar (isostar.uk.com)
Maximuscle Viper (maximuscle.co.uk)
Powerbar Performance Sports Drink (powerbar-europe.com)