NON-TRACKING DIET METHODS

A DIETING METHOD THAT WORKS FOR THOSE WHO PREFER NOT TO WORK WITH NUMBERS AND DATA. 

If you're someone who just doesn't mesh well with numbers and data, tracking Calories and macros probably isn't a viable option as a longer than short term dieting strategy. Not everyone can get away without tracking anything, but looking into a non-tracking method of dieting might be a good idea if the aforementioned sounds like you. 

There are many non-tracking dieting methods out there that can be used in combination. Using food selection to manipulate automatic Calorie intake is easily one of the most prominent methods. 

So what is it, and how does it work?
Focusing your food selection mostly on 'low-Calorie-per-bite', voluminous or filling foods allows you to eat a filling portion of physical food for not a lot of Calories. The high food volume, surface area or mass you're able to ingest will stimulate greater appetite satisfaction for fewer Calories than more Calorie dense options. The result being an automatic reduction in Calorie consumption with very little to no impact on meal hunger satisfaction. This automatic reduction in Calorie consumption will often place a dieter in a Calorie deficit leading to weight loss outcomes. 

Typically these filling foods present themselves in the form of plant matter being fibrous fruits and vegetables. But the idea of low Calorie per bite food swaps extends further to meats, dairy and grains. 

Practical examples that reduce Calories per bite and encourage a lower consumption of Calories include the following:
Fatty steak ➡️ lean steak

Full fat yogurt ➡️ nonfat yogurt 

Pasta ➡️ potato 

White rice ➡️ kidney beans 

Olive oil ➡️ avocado 

Noodles ➡️ ‘zoodles’

Coke ➡️ Diet Coke 


You can also change the ratios of ingredients within single meals to reduce the Calorie density. An example would be increasing the fruit to oat ratio in your morning protein oats.


Typically speaking edging towards a lower fat, higher plant, higher fibre approach to food selection will result in reductions in the Calorie content of your food without really changing the physical amount of food you can actually eat. 

It’s worth considering if you want to diet but don’t prefer the idea of tracking numbers and data and/or are suffering from heightened hunger levels during a period of intended Calorie restriction. 

To learn how to use non tracking methods to help you move towards and maintain your goals, click the button below

Health is more than your body fat percentage

Health is more than just your blood work or your body fat percentage. Total health encompasses many factors like social, economic, and mental health. 

Often to improve one aspect focus will need to be dedicated to one area in the short term at the expense of another. 

For example, if you have a high-level dieting goal in mind, your social health will almost certainly suffer as your freedom to eat and drink is reduced through the process aligning with the goal. 

Or if you seek a promotion at work, your physical health might suffer as your working hours become extended leaving little room for training as much as you'd like. 

Of course, nothing comes for free of trade off's, and it's all part of achieving something worthwhile doing. But knowing when to stop and have a maintenance phase at balance is the key important for long term health and happiness. It's easy for one area of health to get taken too far, and all of a sudden another area is in desperate need of attention. 

Setting logical time frames, expectations and having a plan to go back to 'balance' after the dedicated phase of focusing on one area is important to long term total health and happiness. 

FOOD CRAVINGS ARE TELLING YOU SOMETHING

Ever felt food cravings? Maybe you are someone that feels like your cravings control the outcome of your nutrition?

Chances are your cravings are a direct result of something you are unconsciously are doing to your nutrition and appetite.


Cravings can teach us a lot, for example:

Inadequately supplied nutrition: A common cause of cravings is poorly timed or inadequate sources of fuel, particularly when it comes to cravings feeling compulsive. Often we blame this on willpower or lack of discipline when really it could be that you are unsatisfied and undernourished. Often we deprive ourselves of carbohydrates, but isn't it normally high carbohydrate treats that we end up craving and succumbing to? Checking up on your carbohydrate intake, as well as having a good balance of all three macronutrients is important.

Food insecurity: We typically associate food insecurity with people who don’t have access to enough food. While that’s true, it could also be self-inflicted through dieting or restrictive mindsets. When you feel like food isn’t going to be there tomorrow, it could absolutely affect your thoughts and behaviors today. Giving yourself unconditional permission to eat will decrease the power food has over you. Being in control by having food rules is actually an illusion because those rules are actually controlling you.

Emotional hunger: eating outside of hunger due to our emotions is a completely normal thing, and happens to all of us. Consistently using food as the only way to meet your needs is leaving the body confused and lacking in the confidence it needs to take care of you. Like all things we need (rest, connection, movement, love and variety) food is important,   If you feel like something is lacking, it could be easier to distract or numb with food instead of leaning into what it is or how you’re feeling. In this case, working to become more emotionally aware would be worthwhile to you. This could be done through journaling, therapy or some other form of self-reflection.


Variety: Have you been eating the same thing over and over again? Our bodies want and need a wide variety of foods to function optimally. It’s physically and psychologically unsatisfying to eat the same foods day in and day out. Building more flexibility into your meals and snacks will likely help you feel less preoccupied with food.


Medical concerns: Some cravings — like salty foods, for example — may indicate a medical issue. If you find these cravings to be very intense and very frequent, it may be necessary to seek medical advice.


Lastly, be sure you aren’t confusing hunger, appetite or food preferences with cravings. It's normal to get hungry and want something satisfying to eat, which may vary from day to day. Remember to listen to your body. If you're craving pizza, then a salad may not do. If you want a treat, fruit may not cut it. While it's good to be aware, don’t waste too much of your time overthinking cravings. Most of the time it’s best just to honor it and move on.

To gain a greater understanding of nutrition for your individual needs and goals, contact us

THE 4 FACTORS OF A GOOD DIET, HOW TO EVALUATE IF YOUR DIET IS 'GOOD'. 

A very common question, that is easily answered via a self-assessment using the following 4 criteria / questions. 

Whether the following criteria are adhered to via a tracking or non-tracking / mindful eating method doesn't matter. Tracking might make assessment easier, which may be a needed to eliminate variables if tight control is required and/or if mindful eating dieting methods are not yielding progress. 

1. Calories. 
Is roughly the correct amount of Calories being consumed on average over time? For the goal of fat loss, this will be a deficit relative to energy expenditure, also terms an energy deficit, Calorie deficit or nagative energy balance. 

2. Sufficient protein
Is a sufficient amount of protein being consumed access a daily basis? For the tracking crowd anywhere between 1.4-2g/kg per day will suffice. 

3. Sufficient plant fibre
Current recommendations stand at 15-18g per 1000 Calories consumed [1]. Of that 80% should come from plant matter. Current recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake start at around 300g, & 400g respectively [2]. 

4. Mostly wholefood food selection. 
Most of your diet should come from minimally processed whole foods with the general rule of thumb being 80%+. 

So before you message every Insta diet guru (most of which don't know much about much) just self asses 'the diet' in question against the above. There you will find your answer.  

Bonus factors. 

1. Post diet transition to maintenance eating. 
Sustainability of a diet is surprisingly not a factor here as doing something slightly unsistainable is perfectly fine provided someone has the ability to healthfully, and effectively transition into the post diet maintenance free from rebounds, development of disordered relationship with food etc. For this to be obtained often basic diet know-how, autonomy and education is required. Which begs the argument of another important factor of a successfully diet being; education & autonomy. 

2. Ratios & amounts of carbohydrates & fats. 
Are sufficient carbohydrate amounts being consumed to meet needs? For most 'general-pop' folks who have low levels of activity, and low/ if any training volume and intensity carbohydrate needs are low so how you fill the rest of your Calories after protein has been covered doesn't really matter, so use preference. 
For high-level athletes or those with high training demands carbohydrate needs may be hugely elevated compared to the typical so a carbohydrate bias ratio is almost certainly the best idea with fat intakes only meeting minimum requirements of about 1g/kg of body weight, or 20% of total intake. Typically speaking there are more benefits to learning towards a carbohydrate bias in most situations. Your "body type" is not a factor to consider here.

3. Meal frequency, meal timing, and nutrient timing. 
Again for most people the number of meals you eat, when you eat them and when you time certain macronutrients (Protein, carbohydrates, and fats) relative to the day or training doesn't matter so dedicate your stress elsewhere. 
For high-level sports, or physique athletes and/or goals, or those who are very lean looking to get leaner timing of meals but more specifically protein feedings matters. Ideally, protein should be evenly spread across waking hours in even dosages. Carbs should be emphasised around training to promote best training performance for sports progression and/or optimal muscle growth / retentive stimulus. Timing of fats doesn't matter a whole lot, but I see value in going on the lower end of fats in the pre training feeding window. 


[1] Dietary guidelines for American 2015-2020

[2] Australian dietary guidelines  

Creatine: FAQs and Myths

In high school, there was one gym bro who took creatine. At the time we all 'gave him crap' for being on steroids (we thought creatine a steroid at the time). 

Turns out creatine firstly isn't an illegal substance, but it's actually the most well studied and confirmed effective sports supplement there is. 

Fundamentally the powerhouse of the body is ATP. Intramuscular stores of creatine help fuel the re-creation of more ATP during high-intensity bouts of activity to maintain the presence of ATP. However, creatine supplies are limited and do run-out as we use them up. While we can get some creatine from our diet, supplementation is required to ensure levels stay 'topped-up'.  

We know creatine helps you perform better in sport and exercise, which obviously matters if you're an athlete wanting to beat everyone else. But this increased performance also means a more appropriate stimulus to enhance the adaptive response to training. Creatine can also help recovery which allows more 'quality' training stimulus to be provided over time again leading to greater adaptations. 

What might surprise you is that creatine does more than just 'get you jacked'. The benefits of creatine are not exclusively sports related, with evidence showing use in lessening the development of chronic illness and disease.

So we know it works. Now down to the practical stuff.

Is creatine safe? 
Studies have shown a needlessly high dose of more than 10 times optimal requirements for 5 years to be safe in multiple population types and ages. 

Will I gain weight and get bloated?
You'll almost certainly gain weight. The key word being 'weight' and not fat. Creatines mechanism of action is increased intramuscular phosphocreatine, glycogen and hydration which all contribute to mass but not fat mass. The weight gain is a by-product of the means by which creatine is effective and don't worry this won't make you look 'puffy'. 

What type of creatine is best?
Just good old cheap monohydrate does the job, there is no need to purchase any more expensive, 'fancy-named' ones. Monohydrate is most commonly used in creatine research with other forms being no better or potentially ineffective. 

How much/ whats the dose?
You can load it to saturate stores faster, but for the sake of simplicity 3-5g a day does the job, but it might take several weeks to see any notable improvements/ effects. Timing across the day also doesn't matter.

How do I take it?

Add a scoop to your morning water, pre or post workout shake, in a smoothie or even in your oats or yogurt.

Creatine, it's good for sports performance, it's good for getting jacked, it's good for recovery, it's good for health and it's damn cheap. Cheap enough that if new research came out drinking all existing creatine research proving it to be ineffective it wouldn't matter a great deal, and the placebo would be worth it anyway.

To learn more about how nutrition can improve your performance in the gym or would like us to bust some supplement myths, contact us:

https://www.fortitudenutritioncoaching.com.au/contact


[reference] International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine    

Post Workout Caffeine

You might hear a PT say, "don't drink coffee after training because it will stimulate the release of stress hormones and stop you from recovering from training, which is bad because you want rest and digest mode". 

While there may be an element of truth to this. There are a few things wrong with it. 

The level of difference is so small it's not worth even mentioning in almost all situations. If you train first thing and like a coffee after, go for it! You have bigger things to worry about. 

We know consuming caffeine pre-training is a good idea to drive better training outcomes leading to 'better' adaptations. However, caffeine takes several hours to clear the blood levels after ingestion. So even if you didn't drink a coffee after your morning workout, the one you drank before it is still lingering for after you finish well into the 'post workout window'. 

Post-training caffeine might be a good strategy for athletes. Caffeine has been shown to promote greater rates of glycogen resynthesis after exercise when ingested with carbohydrate. Basically, this means if you train hard, then drink coffee and consume carbohydrates together you'll store more glucose in your muscle and at a faster rate. While this isn't massive for training adaptations and certainly not important for most folks. It is worth noting for best recovery, especially if you're doing repeated bouts of hard competition level activity within very close time proximity of each other. [1,2]

Take home points. 
Drinking coffee, and consuming caffeine after training isn't something to be afraid of. It may even be a great idea for certain situations.  

If you want to learn more about nutrition around training, contact us: https://www.fortitudenutritioncoaching.com.au/contact

[1] High rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after exhaustive exercise when carbohydrate is coingested with caffeine.

[2] Caffeine ingestion does not impede the resynthesis of proglycogen and macroglycogen after prolonged exercise and carbohydrate supplementation in humans.

Carbohydrate Requirements for Athletes

High-level athletes are often the most disciplined people you'll meet.

6 hours of training 6 days a week isn't an uncommon thing, and it's often accompanied by a 'laser focus' style of strict nutrition. 

Because the energy requirements of such high amounts of training are so great. You'll need to eat a lot of Calories and a lot of carbs to avoid states of low energy availability relative to requirements in order to perform your best and not impact your health. 

So what are these requirements, how much carbs do you actually need to eat if you train multiple hard hours day?

5-8g of carbs per kilo of body weight per day. [1] 
For a 75kg athlete, the range is 375g- 600g of carbs a day

Once you know what 600g of carbs looks like in terms of physical food. You'll realise that achieving such high requirements through exclusively 'clean foods' isn't viable.

To consume 600g of carbs you'll need to eat...  

6.2 kilos (raw weight) of sweet potato. [3]
Or
1.2 kilos of (raw weight) rolled oats. [3]

... I think it's safe to say that's not really viable on a consistent daily basis. 

So if you're training 6 hours a day and eating only 'clean carbs' to hunger satisfaction or even fullness. It's logically doubtful you're getting even a small portion of your carbohydrate requirements on a regular basis. You're likely in a state of chronic low energy availability which can have massive implications. This state and it's negative outcomes is termed RED-S (relative energy deficiency in sport) [2]

Health consequences of RED-S include bone, metabolic, endocrine, menstrual, cardiovascular, immune health and more. 

Performance consequences of RED-S include injury risk, impaired judgment, cognition, strength endurance performance and more. 

The magnitude of the above consequences can be utterly shocking. 

So if you want to perform your best and not negatively impact your health you might want to eat some 'junky' carbohydrate dense foods. There are many ways to easily consume high amounts of carbs. Typically calorie dense, super tasty, low fibre foods are great. 

For example, 680g of Coco Pops will give you 600g of carbs. 

While still a massive amount. It's far less than the aforementioned 'clean carbs', and you need to consider taste, and the fibre content to get a better idea of actual ease of consumption comparisons. 

So if all of the above is relevant to you. You might want to consider;

Swapping the oats for white rice, and putting honey and jam on top of that. Drinking fruit juice and full-calorie cordial with your meals. Swapping the whole grain bread for bagels with jam, and maybe having a full tub of sorbet for dessert. 

Thinking you 'need to eat only clean' might not only be causing you to perform sub-optimally but it might be seriously harmful to your health. 

Want to learn more about how to improve your performance in training?

Click the link and tell us about yourself: https://www.fortitudenutritioncoaching.com.au/contact


[1]  https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-018-0242-y  

[2]  https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/52/11/687

[3] http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/science/monitoringnutrients/afcd/Pages/foodsearch.aspx

Inaccurate Tracking Methods and Solutions

“I eat 1800 Calories”… but I’m not losing weight

It’s important to question how true a reported intake is because there is often a discrepancy between perceived/reported intake and ACTUAL intake. Research shows that even dietitians under-report their intake, with even greater inaccuracies in the general population. [1]

Why is this?

  1. Reporting and tracking methods are unreliable. Apps like MFP are full or inaccurate data entries. 

  2. People are not as good at tracking as they think they are. Properly, accurately and reliably tracking is a skill that takes time with practice and learning. Most folks don’t have the time and patience to learn it to the level required. 

  3. People aren’t honest with MFP and themselves. The little things you ‘didn’t think of’, or ‘forgot to enter’ add up resulting in your intake being far different to what you report. 

With the above in mind. It can be a big red flag for unknowing non-adherence when you hear “I eat (insert very low intake relative to requirements), and I’m not losing weight”.

Well, the reason why you’re not losing weight is that you’re not in a deficit. But it might be because you’re massively under-reporting your intake. 

So how can you improve the accuracy of your macro/Calorie tracking to reduce the risk of misreporting.

1. Weigh individual ingredients - It may seem neurotic and often it's not required, but in the game of minimising variables weighing foods as opposed to 'eye-balling' will be worthwhile. Doing so will also allow you to enter ingredients into your preferred tracking app under grams instead of 'a portion'. 'A chicken breast', 'a small apple', or a handful of nuts' are all examples of loose subjective terms that can carry much inaccuracy.

2. Reliability of data - As mentioned a massive pitfall of apps like My Fitness Pal is the accuracy of data. Searching for a particular food will often result in hundreds of versions all with different macros per a given amount. To combat this use the barcode where possible on packaged foods (but still check against the package), and use reliable entries of fresh produce and meats which brings me to point 2a.

2a. Use NUTTAB - When searching a food, search for (insert name of food) followed by 'NUTTAB'. NUTTAB is a government database containing reliable food data. If the food has been entered under the brand name NUTTAB, chances are it contains accurate data with the Calories, macros, and fibre being correct. However, it's a good idea to check and compare by searching for the particular food in the foodstandards.gov.au website yourself.

3. If the food you wish to track isn't in MFP, or you can't find a reliable entry. You can manually add foods to the MFP database yourself. Use NUTTAB to obtain reliable data and enter said foods under the brand name of 'NUTAB' so other users can use your entry in the future. Once a food is saved it's in your history, so you can easily re-enter it often with one click. This is really helpful for foods you eat on a regular basis.

4. Be aware that eating out will never be anything better than 'ballpark' - Eating out with friends plays a vital part in social health. This isn't to say eating out is 'bad', it's simply saying accurate tracking is difficult when you can't prepare and weigh all ingredients yourself. For a high-level goal where variables need to be tightly controlled and/or lack of result troubleshooting is required then moderating eating out for a period of time may be required for accuracy purposes.

5. Raw weight v cooked weight - One or the other isn't correct. What matters more is whether the data entry reflects either raw or cooked as well. When seeking best accuracy raw weight and tracking is best, as cooking method is a big variable that can change the content of a food. So where possible weigh raw, track using raw food entries, and then cook and serve.

If you would like more guidance on tracking your intake or would like to learn about our tracking and non tracking methods used with clients, head to this link to tell us more about yourself and your health and fitness goals.

https://www.fortitudenutritioncoaching.com.au/contact

References:

[1] Energy intake and energy expenditure: a controlled study comparing dietitians and non-dietitians

Shifting Away from "Burning Calories"

'BURNING CALORIES/FAT' IS NOT AN ACCURATE PURPOSE OF TRAINING. SHIFT YOUR TRAINING MINDSET ELSE TO BETTER FAT LOSS

Fundamentally fat loss or weight maintenance is a game of energy consumed through food and drink versus the energy expended through living, lifestyle, and activity. 

Training with weights has it's benefits, purpose and plays an integral part of fat loss for health, human function and muscle retention with a strong argument, and reasoning behind why it should be prioritized over cardio style training...

But you won't burn a whole lot more Calories doing it...

Therefore there is a strong argument that weight training to 'burn fat or Calories' is not an efficient approach, as the amount of extra energy you'll expend isn't anything requiring great attention at least ahead of diet and general activity levels. [1] 

If you had to unblock a river, it would make sense to worry about removing the big boulders before the little pebbles right. If we apply this mindset towards fat loss, it's not the say weight training deserves less thought and that it's effects aren't worthwhile or vitally important. It's just to say that diet and general activity deserve more emphasis, and the why behind training for a fat loss goal should be shifted away from 'burning Calories', and focused towards muscle retention, health, and function. With food and general activity being the primary factors of Calorie/energy balance focus and magnitude of impact.

TDEE-02.jpg

Low Calorie Food Swaps

Understanding and considering 'calories per bite' when selecting foods can be a great 'bang for buck' way to help facilitate a reduction in calories for the goal of fat loss. 

If pasta is something you love but you struggle to fit a 'satisfactory' amount within your calorie allotment and/or are looking for easy ways to reduce your intake without impacting the amount of food you can actually eat. Then swapping pasta for zucchini is a great idea. 

Swapping from 250g of cooked pasta (cooked amount to keep things unbias) to 250g of zucchini, yields a Calorie saving of 369. 

This food swap also provides about 3 servings of vegetables (1 serve = 75), therefore assisting in meeting a sufficient intake of plant fibre, vitamins, and minerals, while mitigating the effects of hunger that can impact your ability to adhere to a fat loss style of eating

zucchini pasta-02.jpg

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport

YOU FEEL CRAP, AND YOU’RE NOT LOSING WEIGHT DESPITE ‘EATING VERY LITTLE’. YOUR METABOLISM ISN’T BROKEN, BUT IT MIGHT NEED FIXING.


The idea of a permanently ‘damaged’ metabolism after periods of dieting in a lower calorie state known as ‘metabolic damage’ has been debunked among the nutrition space.

Acute downregulations of metabolism known as ‘metabolic adaptation’, or ‘ adaptive thermogenesis’ is now widely accepted to be true. It’s widely accepted that basal metabolic rate will return to a healthy, ideal baseline as any dieting induced down regulations or ‘slowing’ of metabolism are only acute in nature.

However, when large durations and great severity of low-calorie availability environments are considered, the idea of RED-S (relative energy deficiency in sport) comes in, and it might be the reason for someone not losing weight despite eating what is perceived as ‘very little.

RED-S refers to the physiological effects of chronically low energy (Calorie) availability, relative to requirements, which includes large reductions in resting metabolic rate and severe health implications [1]. While derived from athletes especially females in sport. I think this situation can have some relevance to society as a whole.

Now, it’s vital we acknowledge that most of the “I eat 1000 Calorie a day, and I’m not losing weight” situation, is almost always down to lack of adherence.

But in instances where severity and duration are so massive, these acute metabolic adaptations can be so severe that the “it’s my metabolism” may hold some truth through the currently unpopular concept of RED-S.

If and when through testing, a large disparity between actual resting metabolic rate and ‘healthy’ metabolic rate is identified. The course of action to solve it, is much the same as correcting normal post dieting adaptive thermogenesis. You need to eat at ideal weight maintenance calories. Going straight up to weight maintenance calories is almost always the way to do it with no need for a slow reverse. But for RED-S levels of severity, slowly reversing under the guidance of a qualified medical professional may hold some utility.

Bottom line; if you feel like crap, you’re showing signs of poor health and struggling to lose weight despite ‘eating so little, I must be in a deficit’. Yep, it’s probably just a lack of adherence, but we shouldn’t immediately throw the concept of a ‘metabolism that needs fixing’ out the window. Although I think confirmation via testings is required before you can use the “it’s my metabolism” card.

[1] International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus Statement on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S): 2018 Update


Is Sugar The Devil?

It seems that sugar is the devil in society. People think sugar turns into belly, thigh or hip fat. But is added and refined sugar as bad as that very unqualified, very illogical Australian celebrity Paleo chef claims?

What increases 'body fatness' is not actually sugar itself. It's excessive calories compared to energy requirements or calorie (energy) expenditure over time [1]. This is also called an energy (calorie) surplus. This 'calorie surplus' is a major risk factor that leads to the development of many common diseases and poor health outcomes. Whilst it has not been conclusively proven that sugar directly does.[1]

So, sugar itself is not bad, nor does it directly make you fat. 

However, it's important to note foods with added sugar can indirectly lead to increased 'fatness' through increases in CALORIE consumption. So if a diet is high in refined sugar, its likely also high in Calories. 

This is because adding sugar to foods and beverages during processing, cooking etc. Both increase calorie density and enhances the taste. Both of which create a scenario that encourages far higher consumption of calories. 

But this isn't exclusively the case for sugar, more so any 'tasty, high calorie, lower fiber' foods and drinks. Many of which are high in fats. [2]

So despite sugar not directly leading to increased 'body fatness', and poor health outcomes. The diet recommendations of reducing or eliminating refined sugar holds great value, as it's reduction can lead to lower calorie consumption, keeping energy balance in check. 

It's also important to note that not all situations are looking to reduce caloric intake. This is where context and situation plays a role. Situations that involve the need to shuttle high amounts of glucose into the blood as soon as possible, or situations that involve consuming more calories than what an individual would feel comfortable with from 'healthy foods'.  Requires the use of foods and drinks that can be defined as 'unhealthy, or sugary' due to a high amount of refined sugar, a high-calorie density, and an appealing taste. 

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-019-0407-z?fbclid=IwAR2CipHPICtRz-46cRMf9JJRcYPMWrhE0_8NPmeoP-cKarWPlrMm7_hIjC4#ref-CR25

[2] https://www.ernaehrungs-umschau.de/fileadmin/Ernaehrungs-Umschau/pdfs/pdf_2014/01_14/EU01_2014_M014_M023_-_002e_01_engl.pdf

Do You Need To Detox?

Do you need to detox?

 

You own a pub, things are going really well but of course little problems happen from time to time. Eg - a little fight between customers, a customer is served the wrong meal, you have a busy night and are above capacity resulting in long lines for the bar and bathrooms.

 

You see an ad on social media telling you that all these little issues, that are probably just part of owning a pub, could be solved by detoxing your pub. You’re told that you have a toxic environment and just need to remove toxins and your pub will operate smoothly all the time. Perfect - where do I sign.

 

The detox plan tells you to immediately stop serving food, alcohol and coffee. These are full of toxins which are causing your bar problems and stopping it from operating optimally. You don’t have to stop serving them forever, just for 21 days. Then you bar should be free of toxins and you can then reintroduce alcohol, caffeine and food as now your bar will be better equipped to deal with those toxic products.

 

You do as the plan says which leaves you with only juice and water to serve. Amazingly, the issues you were concerned about disappear almost immediately - no more fights, no more wrong meals served to customers, no more long lines for bathrooms or the bar.

 

Unfortunately, you are left with new, much bigger problems. You have hardly any customers and your bar sucks. Your few loyal customers who stuck by you through the detox have lost weight but have wasted away their lean muscle mass because you didn’t serve anything with protein in it and they had no energy to exercise. They’re miserable and are ready to start a massive food binge from the donut shop next door and blow out their weight above pre-detox numbers.

 

You realise that the detox plan didn’t actually explain which toxins were going to be eliminated and why, that they made big claims without actually backing it up with some evidence, that they didn’t provide a long term plan for sustainable bar health. You realise that with some minor improvements from the start, like controlling entry and not going over capacity, asking aggressive customers to leave and an improved meal ordering system, you would have your bar operating exceptionally well without a drastic 21 day detox.

 

Researchers concluded a review in 2017 with “there is currently no evidence to support the use of commercial detox diets for removing toxic

substances from the body”.


Don’t be fooled!


Carbohydrates and Why We Need Them

For a good chunk of the general population, especially those who have low activity levels and inactive lifestyles. Once calories, protein, and fiber are matched the ratios and amounts of carbs and fats isn’t going to matter much [4].

But if you’re active, train with moderate to high volumes, care about performance, seek optimal outcomes and just want to know ‘a better way’. It’s undeniable that once the measly amount of fat required for optimal function is met, you’re pretty much going to want to cram in as many carbohydrates as your calorie allotments and energy requirements will allow.

Even the argument for carbs over fats in general, across the board, is very robust. Here is why…

1. Before I mentioned once calories, protein and fiber are matched it doesn’t matter a lot. Well, the fiber part of that is certainly far more easily achieved if you’re eating plenty of carbs. Basically, we require 15-18g of fiber per 1000 Kcal consumed, and 80% of that is to be from plants (ISSN position stand)… Well, plants are almost always completely carbs, and fiber is… carbs. So going low carb is just making your ability to eat enough fiber harder for no justifiable reason.

2. Carbohydrates contain 4 Calories per gram. With corresponding carbohydrate dense foods typically presenting themselves in the form of filling, fibrous fruits, vegetables and whole grains that provide a great deal of food volume, for not a lot calories. Think of this as ‘Calories per bite’, ‘Calories per gram of food’, or ‘fewer Calories for more surface area of food’. More food volume creates a greater stretch of the stomach providing the brain with a more powerful signal of fullness. Fats are 9 Calories per gram and typically come in the form of lower fiber easily consumable foods like oils, and even a small amount of them yields a lot of Calories. Satiety or fullness is consistently more closely tied with Calorie density, fiber content, and food volume [2,3] as opposed to the myth that the carbohydrate and fat content of food is the primary influence, due to the blood sugar response that follows consumption [5].

3. Carbohydrates (glucose) is the bodies preferred fuel source for all cellular metabolism, undeniable. Fatty acids are only able to be utilised by the body as a backup fuel source in the event of insufficient glucose availability. If glucose is present, the body will preferentially use glucose for good reason. For the body, to utilise fatty acids as it’s a primary fuel source, a bunch of annoying metabolic crap needs to happen to create Acetyl CoA for the kreb cycle. The process of pyruvate from carbs, to acetyl CoA, is far more straight forward and 'easier'.

4. If you lift weights it’s very clear you’ll more likely perform your best if you have sufficient carbohydrate available. The intensity and duration of strength and muscle growth (hypertrophy) specific training is glycolytic in nature. Meaning primary fuel for the activity in reference is glucose (carbs). Carbs provide the fuel that will best facilitate optimal training performance for this type of training, undeniable.

5. If your sport involves longer low-intensity bouts, fatty acids predominance at best performs the same as having higher carb availability in the research. While there may be some utility in doing some training in low carbohydrate states to generate greater training adaptations [1]. When it comes to competition time or performing your best, a crap of carbs is certainly the best idea.

6. In point three I mentioned the body has to go through a bunch of metabolic 'things' it would rather not do to create acetyl CoA from fatty acids. The body doesn’t like doing this because it’s inefficient. Not only that, but the kreb cycle is rate limited by the availability of oxaloacetate which is a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism. Thus, the kreb cycle will run optimally and best if the diet is sufficient in carbs. Once you understand what’s going on ‘under the hood’ you’ll realise that at a cellular level. Carbs just make way more sense. For sports/training performance, fat loss, general health, and muscle growth. Carbs win over fats, especially when you understand the physiology behind it all.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21660838

[2] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/15701207_A_Satiety_Index_of_common_foods

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9032702

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25182101

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17524176

Nutrition and Menopause

Menopause is when the body changes and females are deemed infertile. Every woman will experience this as it is a natural step in the ageing process. Basically what happens is the two female sex hormones (Estrogen and Progesterone) are stopped being produced by the body.

 

The changes experienced by the start of menopause are both environmental and biological. There are many changes that are unexpected, some being:

 

  • The way certain nutrients are processed by the body

 

  • The requirement of more nutrients and less of other

 

Weight accumulation around the midsection, this is due to an Estrogen decrease as changes occur in the way the body metabolises fat.

 

Other factors include increased stress and decreased insulin sensitivity. (Exercise is a great way to counteract the insulin resistance and control the stress hormone cortisol from having negative effects).

 

Nutrients

 

Protein 1.2g per kg of BW- extra needed to maintain muscle mass, strength and bone density, also decrease osteoporosis formation.

 

By spreading protein consumption over 3 meals you teach the body how to correctly utilise it.

 

Carbs

 

The way the body processes carbs changes as menopause is reached. Higher quantities of glucose creates a high blood sugar spike contributing to weight gain and insulin resistance.

Low GI can manage increases in blood sugar.

 

Examples of Low GI carbohydrates:

 

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Steel cut oats

  • Apples

 

Micronutrients

 

Calcium & vitamin D

 

Your calcium needs increase after menopause:

 

  • jumping from 1000 mg to 1200 mg daily.

 

Calcium can’t be absorbed in large doses, and too much calcium in the blood is a bad thing, so overdosing on Calcium is a thing. Calcium is best taken when food sources and supplements are spread throughout the day in smaller amounts or a slow-release supplement is taken.

 

In the later years, females will need more vitamin D to preserve bone strength, so it’s totally fine even as a younger woman to increase your daily intake early, to 800mg.

Vitamin B12

 

A small portion of the population has difficulty absorbing food sources of vitamin B12 in middle age (menopause age). Fortified foods and supplements are absorbed differently by the body and are a good way to meet your needs in this case.

 

Examples of B12 fortified foods:

 

- Nutritional yeast

- Cereals

- Almond/Coconut milks

- Organ meats

- Sardines

- Tuna

 

The foods being consumed at this time should be adjusted accordingly to optimise the way the body is processing nutrients.

 

In conclusion females are prone to deficiencies throughout menopause unless treated correctly in the lead up and during the initial stages, following along with what has been mentioned above is a great start when progressing towards menopause.


Monitoring Fiber Intake and Digestive Health

If you’re experiencing poor digestive symptoms consistently. There are a few things you should do and consider.

If the issue is severe, go straight to a dietitian or doctor. You may have IBD (irritable bowel disease), in which case the only people who can and should help, are the aforementioned.

If the symptoms are milder and representative of low-level IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and you’re after professional advice, a nutritionist can help.

Do not look to Instagram, an unqualified personal trainer, or a ‘wellness guru’ for help with this, regardless of what they claim their area of expertise is.

Outside of the above, a nutritionist can help, but may often refer out straight away. The first port of call is to work out how much fiber you’re actually consuming on a consistent basis. This certainly isn’t the obvious solution for most, but it’s without a doubt the first factor to asses and cross off the list before you look elsewhere. Often simply aligning actual fiber intakes with the recommendations provides relief.

The most practical way to determine your fiber intake is to track your via an app like My Fitness Pal for a week or two, and note your levels of digestive distress throughout the tracking period.

Apart from the standard potential reasons for inaccurate reporting in My Fitness Pal. There are two fiber related factors to be aware of, in order to ensure the data you obtain is even ball-park correct.

1. Ensure the data entries are accurate.
My Fitness Pal is plagued with inaccurate data that can result in misreporting of intake. This will give false data, which for obvious reasons makes things difficult. Check bar code scans match the nutrition panels on product packaging and use NUTTAB sourced entries when you search for particular foods. If there is no NUTUAB sourced data for food you wish to enter. You can enter it yourself but going to the NUTTAB database and entering it into MFP yourself.
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/science/monitoringnutrients/afcd/Pages/default.aspx

2. Ensure the data entries contain fiber. When a portion of food is entered into My Fitness Pal, not all the data needs to be entered. Often fiber is left out, which will throw off the accuracy of your tracking. Make sure what you’re entering has the amounts of fiber reported. Again, look to the NUTUAB database to confirm accuracy and/or enter if a relevant accurate entry isn’t present.

Once you have a good idea of what your fiber intake is. You can compare it to how your symptoms of gastric distress fluctuated, as well as the current fiber recommendations. Which are…

15-18g per 1000 Calories per day. With 80% of that being obtained through plant fiber based on the current ISSN position stand.

This means for someone consuming 2500 Calories a day, the ideal daily fiber target is 37.5-45g. Keep in mind this does have some individual variations based on tolerance.

If this doesn’t provide relief, it’s time to visit your doctor or dietitian. Certainly do not start looking at blindly cutting out foods and food groups like gluten and dairy, and certainly don’t go spending $$$ on questionable intolerance tests just yet. See a legitimate evidence-based doctor or dietitian first, they will provide you with guidance from there.

Willpower

Willpower

What is willpower? Is it infinite? Can it be trained like a muscle?

Determination. Drive. Resolve. Self-discipline. Self-control. Resilience. Can-do spirit. The ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals …

Control Your Food Environment

Control Your Food Environment

Your Food Environment is like your Nutritional Subconscious

Managing your food environment has the potential to make healthy eating easier and take willpower out of the equation. With some proper planning and minimal upkeep, you can manipulate your environment in such a way to cause you to think about food a little less, reduce the number of extraneous temptations you face, and make it easier for you to make better choices …