Posts Tagged ‘protein’

Get firm and toned

February 21st, 2010

If you wish to stay slim and graceful for your whole life, it’s time to get powerful.

Let’s begin with a few facts about muscles. The amount of muscle you have determines how many calories your body uses when you’re inactive. Muscle burns more calories than fat. Many studies show just 500 gram of muscle burns 30 calories a day just being there, whereas 500 gram of fat burns just 2 calories a day! Hence, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

Regular weight training can increase your basal metabolic rate ( BMR ) by as much as 15%. Your BMR is the rate at which your body burns calories even when just sitting down, sleeping and breathing; the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

Then there are the bone-strengthening benefits of weight training. Studies show that after six months of weight training, your spine bone mineral density could increase by 13%. If you have better bones, they will help to boost your posture and make you look leaner. Besides, regular weight training can help lower your blood pressure, fight diabetes and improve your mood.

Lean muscle also fills out your skins, so saggy cellulite tissue could be transformed into neat, toned, taut buttocks in a matter of weeks. As you work on building and firming your muscles and reducing body fat, this effectively helps to lift the skin, which can help prevent that puckering that takes place when the fibres pull downwards. This means an end to the soft, flabby skin that is a part of growing older. Recently, there is a study that found about 70% of women said their cellulite improved in just six weeks by doing weight training in their legs.

The problem with muscle is that when we reach our late thirties, we start losing it — about 250 gm of muscle a year according to some figures. That means you risk losing 2.5 kg of muscle while gaining 7.5 kg of fat every ten years if you don’t do anything to counter the muscle loss. So if you were to carry on eating the same amount of food, you inevitably gain weight.

What to do about it?

Our aim is to build in three sessions of resistance work a week. To get the benefits, you need to work until the muscles are fatigued. If you need to do dozens of repetitions to get to that stage, then you need heavier weights (more resistance) .

Even using your own body weight as resistance counts, so you can even build your muscles at home — good exercises include sit-ups, press-ups, lunges and squats. The lunge is a good exercise to master and can be done without weights to begin with. Stand with your feet together holding dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing in. Take one step forward with your right leg. With your right foot on the floor, slowly lower your left knee towards the floor, keeping your right knee at a 90-degree angle and your back straight. Press into your right foot and push yourself back to the starting position. Repeat on the other leg. Aim for twelve, building up to two or three sets over time.

Turn your daily walk or cycle into an effective resistance workout by incorporating hills or walking with an ankle or wrist weights.

Gym-based classes such as step, spinning or body conditioning involve resistance work.

If you want to build your muscle, you should cut back on fatty foods.

Eat more lean protein as it will help your body to repair the muscle fibers you may have damaged along the way. You can have chicken, tofu, lentils or nut.

Say no to margarine, butter or cheese spread. Swap those with mustard as spreads. Use tuna or low-fat turkey ham as fillings for your sandwiches.

Really really cut down one RED MEAT.

Keep away from food preserved in oil. Stick to brine or fresh water instead.

Drink clear broth or vegetable soup rather than creamy ones.

Goodbye Mr Chips

January 19th, 2010

Cut back on fat and you’ll reap rewards on your bum and your thights.Try some simple and painless ways to reduce fat in your diet.

If you’re reading this,no doubt your priority right now is on your behind.And,given that being overweight is a major factor in cellulite,it’s time to slash some of the naughty stuff from your diet.Let’s start with some home thruths about dietary fat:

Weight for weight,fat contains twice as many calories as sugar.

1 g of fat contains 9 calories,while 1 g of sugar contains about 3-4 cals – so one of the best ways to cutback on calories bis to reduce your fat intake.

Fat calories make you fatter than carbohydrate and protein calories.

That’s because fat is closest to the form it needs to be for storage – to metabolise it requires 3 calories for every 100 calories you eat.That leaves a whopping97 to be stored in your fat cells.

Compare this with the number of calories required to metabolise carbohydrates,about 10-15 calories which leaves only 85-90 to be stored.Proteins wins hand thought; it requires an amazing 20 calories to use it.So if you want to boost your metabolism,stick to protein and carbs and go easy on the fat.

Try sticking to a moderate fat restriction eating plan (where it accounts for between 30and 32 % of your total calorie intake).You are more much likely to keep the weight off this way than by restricting it to 20-25% because it’s more palatable and therefore easier to stick with.

You don’t have to suffer on a fat-free regime to lose weight.There are plenty of painless ways to cut back:

  • Ban margarine,butter or cheese in your sandwiches (and use tuna,turkey and low fat ham as fillings).Mustard and low-fat dressing make good alternatives to spreads.
  • Reduce red meat consumption by adding beans or root vegetables such as parsnips and turnips to casseroles or horpots to bulk up your servings.
  • Keep away from food preservedin oil; check the labels and stick to brine or fresh water instead.
  • Stop frying food ; instead barbecue/griddle or grill your fish or meat.
  • If you’re making meat casserole,leave it to go cold,then remove any fat on the surface.
  • Never add butter to your potatoes; try mustard or fromage frais in the mashed potatoes instead.
  • Drink clear broths or vegetable soups instead of creamy ones.
  • Never add cream to pasta sauces or soups.

Try these swaps:

  • Instead of steamed puddings and cream,opt for crumbles;they’ll keep your fruit intake high.Plus if you swap heavy crumble mixture for brown-breadcrumbs and a sprinkling of brown sugar you’ll keep it lower calorie still.
  • Instead of toast smoothered with butter try hummous – it’s a good source of protein,plus it’s high in soluble fibre which lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Love roasts?Swap red meat for white meat – and use spray olive to add taste and oils and balsamic vinegar and cut back on fat.

Shake up your child’s breakfast

April 15th, 2009


Breakfast provides food for the brain after a night of sleep. The nutrients consumed at breakfast gives your children the energy they need to concentrate while in school, that in turn enables them to retain what is taught.

But many kids skip breakfast in the morning because they are either in a hurry or simply not hungry. This is not a healthy move. These children should be made to consume a simple protein shake.

These shakes should ideally comprise milkĀ  (soy, cow or goat), protein powder, ground flax seeds or flaxseed oil and fruits of choice like blueberries or bananas.