3rd January 2019

New Year’s resolutions – a bit of help

Having watched Big fat lies on diet and exercise on Channel 5 I thought I would share few pointers.

  • You don’t need to take anti-oxidants unless you live next to a nuclear plant. Your kidneys and liver do the job.
  • There is no such food as a superfood! It is a marketing term that has been banned by the EU.
  • Avoid eating too much sugar, you should be eating the equivalent of 6 teaspoons a day only (one banana contains the equivalent of 5 teaspoons). It is not addictive (as in a drug), easy to crave but easy to replace by eating any other kind of food. Watch for hidden sugars in processed food. Avoid cereal bars and breakfast cereals. Avoid drinking juices and smoothies. They are full of sugar and lack of fibre. Eat a fruit instead.
  • Tropical fruits spend a long time in the sun so contains more sugar. Fruits are a good source of fibre and contains good sugar. 
  • 5 a day is too low. 10 a day is more appropriate. We can’t eat too much vegetables!
  • Avoid eating processed food. Cook your own food.
  • Check food portion. One healthy portion is the size of a fist, the size of your stomach.
  • You don’t need to detox. Eat healthily and avoid too much alcohol.
  • Alcohol in moderation-14 units a week, 1 unit = 45/65ml a day, one glass of wine is about 3 units.
  • Do not take diet pills. Avoid rapid weight loss diets. It is unsustainable. Think long term and eat healthily.
  • Don’t count calories, watch the quality and quantity of food you are eating.
  • Cutting out fat, no; healthy fat, yes! Less saturated (animal) fat, more unsaturated (plant based) fat.

 

  • BMI -body mass index- measurement is not useful as a tool for measuring fat/muscle percentage. Carrying extra pounds can be healthy!
  • Active life style rather than gym membership you won’t use? Plan ahead!
  • Gym = technique is everything! Pilates is ideal to learn how to use your body well and is a good preparation for using the gym safely.
  • HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training takes 8 minutes of very active and tiring speed exercises. The formula doesn’t suit everybody. 
  • Enjoyment is sustainable so choose the right exercise for you.
  • Sports drinks can be useful for extreme sports and long distance running. Watermelon is a good alternative. Make your own: ½ juice, ½ water + pinch of salt. For regular fitness sessions, drink water.

Mediterranean diet is a very good balanced diet. So is the lifestyle. Plenty of sun, social interaction, minimum stress, slow paced life with plenty of rest, close to nature. No wonder they live longer healthier lives!

Quoting Nathan Rao, sciences journalist “Eat when you are hungry, don’t eat rubbish, take moderate exercise”. Simple!