Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Carbs and fat - the truth

This is something that I read about every single day, whether its PT's talking about carbs, or the general public. Do carbs make actually make you fat though? No, and here's why.

I have been injured for a total time of about 14 weeks, but I did 'come back' for a couple of weeks in the middle. During that time where I was unable to workout, I still ate carbs, every day, and I can honestly say that I have not gained 'fat'. I have lost muscle size and tone, so it looks like I have gained fat, but its purely because the shape and definition is no longer there. The carbs that I have eaten have been potatoes, rice, couscous and pasta. So, to those people that say carbs make you fat, why haven't I gained any fat? considering I haven't been able to workout at all for quite a long time, if they caused weight gain, surely I would have experienced that?

The thing that causes weight gain is you. If you eat too many carbs, and do no exercise, yes you will gain weight as the carbs will turn into stored energy, rather than being used. So if you choose to eat too much, then you will get fat, but carbs themselves do not instantly add fat. Its all about moderation - you want to eat a variety of foods, but not too much.

By going on a 'no carb' diet, then you are doomed to fail. Your body needs energy to function, and carbs are its primary energy source. Is it possible to never eat carbs again? hell no. I always say - if you can't do it forever, don't do it at all. Don't be afraid of carbs, your body needs them, but just don't eat too much.

Monday, 25 November 2013

The BEST way to get in shape!

There are many different ways to get in shape, ranging from crazy diets to training like a machine. But there is one thing that will blast you into shape, and that is the word love. Don't worry, I haven't lost my mind! What I mean is.... if you love working out, love preparing healthy meals, your going to get in awesome shape! 

I myself love training, always have. When I used to play cricket for Essex, I used to love training, love getting in the gym, heck - sometimes I loved the training more than the games! I used to play with some guys that hated training, and they literally had to force themselves to do it, and they never got the best out of the sessions because they didn't really want to be there. The same goes for you guys who want to get in shape. Whether its losing the fat or packing on the muscle, if you don't love training, you will find it hard and could even end up quitting purely because you hate doing it. There is unfortunately no 'quick fix' for either weight loss or muscle building, so you have to put the hard work in. 

The great thing about working out is that you can really feel your body changing. You could be lifting heavier weights, running for longer, swimming for longer, completing more circuits etc etc. Its an awesome way to relieve stress (which can be very useful if you have a job that is very stressful!) feel good about yourself, work on yourself, get away from things, have some 'me time' etc. I know some guys that go to the gym and train hard to get away from their 'every day life', take some stress away and to have some alone time. The gym is great for many things, but as mentioned, if you don't like going there, you're going to struggle. Learn to love it, learn to love training, and not only will you be happier, but you will get the body you want a lot easier. 

Monday, 18 November 2013

Weight loss obstacles

I haven't done a post in a little while, but this is something that I feel the need to write about, as I tend to see it everyday.

Everyone who is overweight/obese would love to lose the weight once and for all and live a healthier, happier life, but things can easily get in the way. Obstacles such as relationships, work, children, family, can easily get in the way of your weight loss goals. The most common one that I read about is children. People that have kids, but are overweight, often say they haven't got the time to exercise regularly and eat healthier because they are taking care of their little ones. I can completely understand and respect the fact that raising children is a full time job in itself. Is it possible to still lose weight? I believe so. You just have to manage your time well, which can enable you to get to the gym , cook healthy meals etc. I know that it is a lot easier said than done, but it is possible. Here's a little motivation for you - I'm sure you want to be there for your kids as they grow up, be able to play with them over the park, be an 'active parent'? you won't be able to do that if you continue to put weight on. Motivation is key, and children can actually be some of the best motivation you can have. Weight loss TV shows that I have seen, many people tend to say 'I'm doing it for my kids', and that's all the motivation they need.

Work can be a tough one to deal with. Depending on what job you have, it can be easy to implement an exercise and healthy eating plan, or it can be hard. You just have to ask yourself how important losing the weight and being healthy is. You may find yourself working your usual hours and also going to the gym 3 times per week, and you may shattered and not have much free time, but will it be worth it? yes! You have to put in the hard work to get the results you want. After all, if you're healthy, fit and feel good about yourself, you will like going to work, or find a new career because of your new found confidence.

Obviously there are other obstacles but the ones mentioned above seem to be the most common. But with whatever obstacle you are facing, you just have to remind yourself that your health comes first. Being fit and healthy will enable you to do many more things that you want to do. Trying to fit in an exercise plan and cooking healthy meals whilst having a full time job and a family is not easy, but it is doable, and it is worth it!

Monday, 11 November 2013

The government and obesity

I have read a few articles to do with obesity that seem to blame the government for not doing enough to help with obesity. I don't think its their job to be honest.... but they could help.

People become obese for one reason or another. Some have had traumatic times in their lives, whereas some people are just lazy. But is it the governments job to stop people eating too much? I don't believe it is. More and more children are becoming obese these days, and the government aren't their parents - their mum's and dad's are their parents. It is the job of the parents to raise their children in a healthy environment. Children don't fend for themselves, they eat what is given to them. So if parents give them junk foods, that is what they eat - it then becomes a habit - that leads to obesity.

For adults - it should be common knowledge that eating junk food makes you gain weight, but some say 'I can't afford to eat healthy foods'. Well I have something to say about that. It has been proven many times that it IS cheaper to eat healthy foods than living on takeaways. There was a tv show that had ex Masterchef contestant 'Dean Edwards' showing you that it is possible to cook a healthy meal just as quick as receiving a takeaway - and cheaper! Granted, he is a great chef, but the point of the show was to prove to people that you can cook healthy meals in a short time, and cost less than a takeaway. So for those people that use the excuse of 'I can't afford it', or 'I don't have the time', that just does not fly with me! It just takes effort and patience to learn how to cook - and as with most things humans do, it can soon become a habit (a good habit!).

With the government, I really don't think it is their job, but people have mentioned a few things they 'could do', but I really don't see them happening. One thing I have read from nutritionist, PT's and journalists, is that the government could increase the tax on alcohol, cigarettes and fatty foods. Whilst this could put some people off of buying those, the government are in a bit of a pickle - as those things bring in a fortune! So if people stopped buying them, the country would end up losing a lot of cash. The upside to that is the NHS will get a bit of a break - not having to deal with so many obese patients, but will the money saved from that outweigh the money lost from alcohol, cigarettes and fatty foods? who knows.
Another downside to raising tax on those, is that it will 'hit' the healthy people. I know what you're thinking - 'Booze, fags and fatty foods, they aren't healthy?'. You're right, they aren't. But healthy people still have alcohol from time to time, have parties, nights out, and those people will then have to  pay more just because the government whacked up the prices to help 'cure' the obesity epidemic.

There's ups and downs to the government helping, but as I said, I honestly don't believe its the governments job. People should know by now that eating junk food makes you gain weight, but they still do it, why? most probably its an addiction. People need to take charge and make the effort themselves instead of waiting for someone to come along and help them out. A lot of it is psychological, maybe some help with that will be better? Seeing numerous weight loss shows, the great trainers 'attack' the mental issues before 'attacking' the physical issues. Having free weight loss surgery doesn't fix the issue, and that costs the government a lot of money. If I was in charge, I would give out free gym memberships and maybe even free personal training instead giving free surgery.

Things need to change, obesity is still on the rise, but its not down to the government - people have to take responsibility.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Is being overweight your fault?

I've decided to do this post after reading a few articles from people giving their views on 'whose fault is it for being overweight?'. This can easily become a complicated subject, but I will give my quick view on it.

Healthy weighted individuals are quick to assume that overweight individuals are just lazy, and I agree a little with that, but the rest - I don't. The majority of people that are overweight, have usually turned to food for one reason or another - could be the death of a loved one, could be bullying, insecurity, the environment they grow up in, there are frankly many reasons...

I myself have been through a fair few 'dark places' in my life, where I have felt anger, sadness, helplessness, so I can relate to how those people feel that turn to food because of something that has happened. That in itself is not really the actual problem - having a cake because you feel really upset, on its own does nothing, but its what it leads too - addiction. Once you start eating to feel that 'void' inside, you will become addicted and it will be 'all that you know' to help the situation. This leads to addiction which then leads to obesity. Until you accept/fix the problems you have, you will keep eating, like trying to fill a bottomless pit. Is this your fault?? maybe.... Some may argue that you can 'get off your butt' and fix the problems, but is it always that easy? no, I didn't turn to food, but I know how it feels to have problems that can't be fixed. To be honest, 'problems' that come along in peoples lives, aren't always their own wrong doing, sometimes its just bad luck, so are they your fault? no - but you can do something about it.

Some people tend to hide behind food because they are scared of the truth - scared to confront their problems because they don't know how hard it will be, and would rather not go through that. Its natural for people to fear what they do not know. But ask yourself this question - Would you rather be scared for a little bit and fix those problems? or continue down a dark path that will slowly get worse and worse?

There are many problems that can be fixed, but there are some that can't, and that's where you just have to accept them for what they are. Life isn't perfect for anyone, and I'm sure you will rather live a life that makes you happy, than continue to slowly destroy your body living in fear. Everyone has will power, some more than others, but will power is something that can grow.

Before you take another day of eating to suppress those feelings and emotions, remember - that's one more day that you're not going to be living your life the way you want to live it. Take control - don't be afraid - face those demons - and you will be thanking yourself for the rest of your life!

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