It’s very common that people find the actual starting to be the most difficult part of training. My advice is to JUST START - and start with some thing very, very easy. This way you will find it easier to continue and create an all important routine.
It’s my role as a personal trainer to help clients achieve and surpass goals. However, there is an approach to training that we all go through which is:
Contemplation - Action - Inspiration - Motivation
Some people stay in the Contemplation period and never take action. The problem often being, knowing where to start and overcoming ‘boundaries’.
So, as I mentioned, JUST START - do something!
Keep things simple to begin with and create a good exercise routine.
4 mins a day is enough. I’ve seen with clients that once they are training and out of the ‘contemplation’ period that ‘action’ - ‘inspiration’ - ‘motivation’ becomes an ongoing cycle.
When you start training, you’re inspired to start eating better, then you’re inspired to sleep more, then you’re inspired to make a regular commitment and join a fitness, and so on.
If you can’t manage 4 minutes then start with one squat or lunge! The next day see how many you can do. You’re more likely to continue this way.
Start very easy
This way you’re more likely to continue, as you can achieve this. Focus on the routine rather than the results
Start training at home
For convenience and removing any boundaries. What you don’t need is to take a trek to the gym, get changed, spend an hour working out, then come home again.
Do short workouts
You can fit these into your busy day AND get great results.
Is 4 minutes enough?
You don’t need to spend an hour or so running or working out at the gym.
I never use traditional cardio training (unless for an event) as you can get better results from 4 minute cardio circuits. Here are the benefits
What kind of training?
Choose classic body weight exercises that are very effective and don’t take any equipment, or kettlebells. Ask yourself how many can you do in 4 minutes?
Who many squats in 4 minutes?
How many lunges?
How many kettelbell swings?
How many burpees?
You don’t have to work non-stop, you can do tabata style training sets: 20 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest for 4 minutes. See how many repetitions you achieve, then try to do more next time.
Targeting your legs will incorporate large muscles, thus more fat burning, as well as engaging the core, which is important to strengthen as a beginner.
If you're a beginner, then don't over-do it - your first task is to create a routine and condition your muscles.
If you've done exercise before and find things too easy then increase the intensity. For example progress Squats to Jump Squats, then Burpees or Kettlebell Squats.
Once you’re managing to train for 4 minutes a day you’ll be surprised what happens!
Good luck and let me know what you do in 4 minutes?
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Aqua-fitness in the UK is pretty restricted to Aqua-Aerobics. It's very popular in Europe among Gyms, Fitness Centres and Health Spas in the form of Aqua-Cycling, Aqua-Treadmills, Cross-Trainers and more.
Aqua-fitness looks set to sweep across the UK as interest & popularity increases. There are huge benefits to using this form of exercise, fitness & well-being. I've taking a close look at it and completely recommend it as a form of exercise, what ever your goals are.
THE BENEFITS OF WATER
Water has many properties, particularly the natural resistance and weightlessness it provides. Hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy help blood circulation, ideal for problems of venous insufficiency. Pedalling against water pressure helps maintain fitness and gently develops cardiovascular and stamina capabilities.
Water cools the body, has a massaging effect, relieves swelling and reduces stiffness and impacts on the joints of the lower limbs.
During and after exercising, awareness of fatigue is diminished because buoyancy reduces muscle loads. Even post-exercise recovery time is improved as the elimination of lactic acid is faster.
The strengthening of the venous and lymphatic networks has remarkable results in combating water retention and reducing cellulite.
Aqua-biking has become the new aquatic activity very trendy for more than 5 years. You can cycle in your pool during an average of 30 to 45 minutes and burn up 1500 calories!
You can also do this activity in group with a coach, on musical rhythm, in individual coaching session, or even by yourself.
Aqua biking is a sport for everybody, from beginners to confirmed athletes, aquafitness is also ideal for resuming a physical activity after a break or an injury. And no matter what shape you are in, you can always customize pace and resistance to your own needs. It is a perfect stress reliever.
If you can't find a local gym or health spa that doesn't have Aqua-bikes, self contained pools with bikes are available.
There are various designs and models to choose from, all of which are self filling & draining, and require simple plumbing and installation.
Hydromassage jets give extra health benefits in the form of massage.
Also available are larger sized multi-function fit pools that have swim currents. This means you can swim at your selected speed in a much smaller area than a swimming pool!
The treadmill gives you the opportunity to do aquatic walking or aquajogging directly in your pool.
It can be set in a classic pool or swim spa.
Walking or running in water is recommended because there is no "shocks“. The ground impact we can have on earth during a jogging, is ten times less in a pool. This is a possible practice for people who can not swim. This system is not electric, it is up to you to lead the speed of the band, the more you give impulse, the faster you run!
The benefits of walking or running in water
AQUA CROSS TRAINER
What is an aquatic elliptical machine?
This is a complete device combining the benefits of: the rower, cross-country skiing, stepper and bike.It provides synergetic muscle and cardio workout . In fact, about 80% of the muscles are used during exercise!
The secret lies in its elliptical motion designed to replicate as closely as possible the natural movement of skiing while putting joints from shocks. One stationary, using the central fixed handlebar; the other, using the oscillating handles for a more intense cardio workout.
The benefits of an aquatic elliptical machine
Smooth work out of all muscles. The Elly improves cardio-vascular capacity and endurance, so you can stay in shape easily. It offers a complete and effective training as the entire musculature is requested: thighs, calves and harmonious toning buttocks and upper body.
Lose weight almost effortlessly. One interesting feature of Elly is its capacity to help you burn fat and thus lose weight. The exercises are easier than on traditional machines with the buoyancy of water on the one hand and the fact that all muscles are active and they accumulate the amount of calories spent. A significant advantage for quick results and motivating!
This is Mini sauna with organic steam for one person. It does not require a big space and
plumbing. You will have SPA benefits in your home!
Its fully made from cedar wood that grows on the high elevations of the clean ecological Mountains in British Columbia and Siberia.
A 10-15 minutes steam session warms the body, increases circulation and relaxes muscles.
You can mix traditional aroma oil remedies that have been found to be effective for the treatment and enhance your experience.
If you would like any further information on Aqua-fitness or any of the products featured in this blog, feel free to contact me. Whether you're a gym owner wanting to offer it as a service or an individual looking for the benefits in the comfort of home.
We’re not genetically designed to be over weight. It’s not all bad news though - being over weight is a reversible process. Firstly, don’t be guided by labels. There are lots of food and Pharma companies that are making millions from producing unhealthy foods. The sad part is that they are often marketed as ‘healthy’. Low fat and low sugar doesn’t necessarily mean low calories.
Also, there’s a difference between the amount of calories and the quality of calories you consume. Empty carbs are high energy, but no/low nutrient - the chances are they will spike your sugar and energy levels, affect your hormones and be stored as fat.
Avoid ready meals at all costs, and cut right back on processed foods. Eat as much fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables as possible. Combine carbs with proteins and fats when eating which slow down the digestion, even out the energy supplied to the body and avoid the sugar spike and fat storing process.
Here are some foods to avoid if you’re serious about good health.
Margarine was originally developed as a food for fattening turkys. However, when it killed them and become unusable, the investors still wanted a profit. Yellow colouring was added and it was sold to humans. It contains trans fats and LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases the risk of CV disease.
Alternatives - butter, coconut oil, low saturated fat oils (olive oil etc).
Concentrated Fruit Juice
Concentrated Fruit Juice is processed and therefore low in nutrients. Fibre is also missing, so you’re basically drinking sweetened sugar. Some juices contain added sugar, or worse still, artificial sweeteners.
Alternatives - water, water, water, green tea, herbal teas, smoothies.
Including - white rice/pasta/bread/sugar; doughnuts,cakes, biscuits and even wholemeal bread.
These are high carb comfort foods with high calories and low nutrients. High carbs are digested very quickly, increasing blood sugar levels. Insulin is then released and the sugar is stored as fat. Check out the Glycaemic Index of carbs - low carbs digest more slowly thus being better for energy levels, high ones are digested quickly and spike your energy levels and trigger the fat storing process.
Alternatives - wholemeal rice/pasta and wholegrain bread. I prefer getting carbs from fruit and vegetables because you get the nutrients as well. Even wholemeal rice, pasta and bread are bulky, starchy foods, that can bloat, so be careful.
GM corn (all GM foods for that matter)
GM corn was made for fattening cattle. It does the same to humans. Also avoid sweeteners produced from it.
What you eat becomes you. The human body creates itself from the food it consumes and is in optimum health when fed fresh food. It has no need for eating artificial sweeteners which are chemicals. numerous side effects have been reported as well as inducing diabetes, storing fat and giving an increased appetite.
Corn syrup (sweetener)
Corn syrup is made from corn starch and contains very high fructose. It is connected to weight gain and obesity and is an added ingredient in many soft drinks and in canned, baked and processed foods such as barbecue sauce, jam and ketchup.
Alternatives - honey, organic maple syrup, molasses and stevia.
Processed soy is a great example of food that we’re told is healthy. However, the heavy processing can remove up to 90% of the nutrients, so again you’re eating empty calories. Also, a lot of soya is GM grown, so check the labels.
Alternatives - quinoa, milled flax seed with pumpin & sunflower seeds, beans, nuts and seeds.
There are more many foods that could be added to this list. Eating is very habitual and quite often done as a form of comfort.
Remember that you are what you eat - it’s your choice whether to eat fresh, live giving foods or to eat junk.
The rise of the smoothie maker has been gradual for years but in the last 12-18 months or so there has been a big boom. Recognised as a quick way to get in some post workout nutrition you can glug on the go, or just an easy-to-digest breakfast for those who can’t stomach whole foods early in the morning, smoothies are certainly here to stay.
But if you’re getting bored of your same old handful of fruit and milk/water combination, or are looking for more value for your money, then these recipes are here to get you out of the smoothie rut.
One word of advice - fat in the diet slows down digestion, so be careful with your post workout smoothie as you want to be able to quickly digest of the micro and macro nutrients needed for repair and recovery.
Sweet Potato Cream Smoothie
Not only are sweet potatoes a great source of slow-release carbohydrate, they also contain much-needed vitamin C – perfect for helping grow and repair tissues. Vitamin C aids the body in the production of collagen – required for synthesis of tendons and ligaments, as well as other tissues. It also helps maintain bones, along with calcium.
Egg Nog Smoothie
Eggs are one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D – but note that it is only available in the yolk, so if you only ever have egg whites you could be missing out on vital nutrients. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium, helping to develop strong and healthy bones, as well as contributing to other important bodily processes. Don’t be put off by the raw egg in this smoothie* – you won’t even know it’s there!
Optional extra protein kick = ½ a scoop vanilla whey, or alternative, protein powder
Chocolate Avocado Smoothie
With nearly 30%* of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant, as well as healthy mono-unsaturated fat (the kind that helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol) avocados have fast become fitties’ favourite foods. You may have heard of chocolate mousse made with avocado, well this right here is the smoothie version – making it that little bit more accessible every day!
Optional extra protein kick = ½ to 1 scoop chocolate whey, or alternative, protein powder
* Per 1 whole avocado.
Pink Kale Smoothie
Kale is just one source of vitamin B6, which helps regulate hormones as well as contributing to red blood cell development, neurological and brain development and function. It can be a little bitter on its own, but a big handful of raspberries and some natural sweeteners make this shake a tasty but nutritious glass-full.
Optional extra protein kick = ½ to 1 scoop strawberry whey, or alternative, protein powder
Apricot and Carrot SmoothieCarrots and apricots are both great sources of vitamin A – important for health vision, as well as bone, skin and immune functions. Get a boost with this delightfully orange smoothie. You can use the carrot raw… if your blender is powerful enough, but cooking it will make it that much easier to blend. Alternatively you can use the juice of two carrots.
Optional extra protein kick = ½ to 1 scoop vanilla whey, or alternative, protein powder
Try Them and SeeBy mixing up your smoothies you will add a variety of nutrients into your diet, as well as relieve the boredom of mundane shakes. Think about what you need most in your diet – which vitamins and minerals do you potentially not get enough of? If you’re not sure, a good way to tell is by the colour of the fruit and vegetables you eat. Eat mostly greens? Try the Apricot and Carrot, or Sweet Potato Cream Smoothie. Have a lot of orange fruit and veg in your life? Go for the Chocolate Avocado or Pink Kale Smoothie.
If you have a favourite smoothie recipe, please share it.
Using them means
So here are the 7 movement patterns -
Push movement uses the triceps, we can either push forwards or we can push upwards or forwards.
Body weight: Push-Ups, Kettlebells: Chest Press
Pull movement uses the biceps. We can only pull towards ourselves.
Body weight: Pull-Ups, Kettlebells: Rows
Now, this is used when we sit down into chairs, on the toilet and so on. Squat category, we sit back onto the heel as we sit the bum downwards, rather than backwards like we do in the dead lift, so sitting downwards.
Body Weight: Squats Jumps, Kettlebells:
Deadlifts are hip-hinge based movements based around picking things off the floor. We’re using the glutes and hamstrings with some core as well.
Body Weight: Reaching Single Leg Deadlifts, Kettebells: KB Deadlift
Lunges are stepping forwards, backwards or to the side movements. Again working the legs, strongly into the glutes, again with some core.
Body Weight: Backward Lunges, Kettlebells: KB lunge
The core is used in conjunction and extensively with all other muscles. Strength here is important in doing all other movement patterns.
Body Weight: Mountain Climbers, Kettlebells: Turkish Get Up
The oblique muscles are either side of our bodies and facilitate twisting motions.
It can be easy to overlook this movement pattern and leave it out of a training session.
Body Weight: Standing Twists, Kettlebells: Russian Twists.
You can use these movement patterns separately to begin with to condition muscles and increase range of motion and then start to combine them to achieve maximum benefits and cut down on the amount of time you train.
Use them collectively for a complete body workout, or separate and group them into how many days training you do, for example,
3 days training could be: day 1- Push & Deadlift; day 2- Pull, Squat & Twist; day 3- Core & Lunge.
Here's a kettlebell workout using all 6 movements:
Swing - 40 secs / rest 20 secs
Regular Row - 40 secs / rest 20 secs x 2
Goblet Squat - 40 secs / rest 20 secs
Overhead Press - 40 secs / rest 20 secs x 2
Side Lunge - 40 secs / rest 20 secs x 2
Turkish Get Up - 3 each side
And here's a 4-min workout that uses bodyweight exercises:
Reaching Single Leg Deadlift - 30 secs x 2
Pull Up / Chin Up - 30 secs
Y Squat - 30 secs
Push Ups - 30 secs
Reverse Lunge - 30 secs x 2
Cross Body Mountain Climber - 30 secs
Exercise should be simple and fun!
You can do these workouts knowing that you are working around 600 muscles, bringing strength and stability to muscles and joints, plus balancing your posture.
Risks v Benefits
It's my number one priority of any exercise as a coach to avoid injury.
Insanity, Distance Running and Bootcamps are too aggressive on the body for beginners and the older generation .
The only survivors of these types of workouts will be the young (because they heal quickly and have better mobility) and the experienced who have build up their condition over years of training.
There are websites and magazines devoted purely to running injuries and research shows that 50% of people will obtain a running injury within the first year.
As a Personal Trainer I'm always weighing up the risk vs benefit of every exercise that I use with my clients. If one of my clients gets injured then that is a failure on my part.
For us over 40's time is precious, so fitting in time for training can be difficult - but don't let it be an excuse to not train.
It's possible to do 10-20 minute workouts, 3-5 times a week that will be completely effective.
You can easily progress them as your body adapts too.
What to avoid
Avoid doing isolated movements, for example bicep curls and tricep extensions. They're good exercises in their own right and will build lean muscle, but they're time consuming and don't burn fat. For beginners too much weight could easily lead to joint problems.
Distance running is very time consuming and doesn't give a good return in fat burnt and there's no strength gained. Also, the joints suffer. One reason for injuries is that people haven't built strength in the foot, knee and hip relationship; consequently, stability is lacking which leads to poor alignment and injury.
Jumping can also place a strain on the joints and should be avoided by beginners over 40. It sends your whole bodyweight through your body in one sudden impact. Box Jumps, Jumping Lunges etc. can cause ruptured achilles tendon doing these exercises!
Over 40's and the metabolism
The metabolism increasingly slows down with age. Those with a sedentary life style will find that putting on unwanted weight is an unavoidable consequence. Before long, if left unchecked, this can get out of hand and your left with a bulging tummy and saggy arms.
It's possible to boost the system however. You can raise the metabolism, burn fat and increase lean muscle mass.
Compound movements i.e. movement that involves 2 or more muscles. An exercise such as the kettle bell swing involves over 600 muscles - it builds strength and stability, raises the cardio and is a big fat burner.
Hight Intensity Interval Training is the key. You can find more about HIIT in a previously written blog. Work hard for a short period; 20-60 seconds depending on your capability; rest; repeat, or do the next exercise.
Sports science has demonstrated the effects of EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) on the body. The higher the oxygen requirements when participating in a chosen physical activity the greater amount of oxygen is needed to replenish the human bodily systems once the activity has ceased. This in turn increases the potential for accelerating fat loss as well as many other physiological benefits. The fat burn continues for up to 48 hours post exercise!
Lots of body weight exercises fall into this category. Squats and Press-ups are great examples. Kettlebells, Gym Based Boxing are also good examples of effective training that can be done in a 10-20 programme; will raise the metabolism; burn fat and produce lean muscle mass.
For a beginner over 40, a simple and quick session that targets the whole body could be
Exercise doesn't need to be complicated it just needs to be sensible.
The principle behind this is quite simple: calories consumed each day should be less than what they are now. You can achieve this by eating less and training more.
As I've mentioned in earlier blogs, you should be eating regular healthy meals. Don't starve yourself to lose weight. Eat life giving foods with a balance of macro and micro nutrients not life taking foods and 'anti-nutrients'. Do high intensity interval training. This doesn't have to be time consuming and can be fitted into the busiest of lifestyles.
What the offer includes
Remember, at peak fitness and health we offer free consultations and a taster hour session for just £15 - so you've nothing to lose.
If you would like more information, or to make a booking, press the button below
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Good luck with your training and take care.
What is Interval Training?
The concept of this type of training is simple - intersperse short periods of hard exercise with periods of rest.
So a very simple example might be:
Run hard for 30 seconds
Rest for 2 minutes
Repeat 4-8 times
Often this type of training is called HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, the reason for this title is because the periods of exercise needs to be very challenging.
The body has different energy systems. Long runs and endurance exercise use the aerobic or oxygen system. This also burns carbs and fat and is used for long time periods of lower intensity exercise.
The Glycolytic energy system lasts for up to 2 minutes and is for more intense exercise and is anaerobic.
The Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP energy system is for high intensity, explosive exercise and only lasts for 10-20 seconds and is also anaerobic.
The body uses these energy systems combined, not independently of each other. However, depending on the activity, one will predominate.
So, with high intensity training you should be working hard enough to use the anaerobic energy systems.
What are the benefits of high-intensity training over cardio exercise?Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning running. I’m looking at highly effective and beneficial training.
Cardio exercise is typically long and steady - a 20 minute or longer run, or in the gym swapping from running on a treadmill, to sitting on the exercise bike then going on the stepper.
So here are the advantages of keeping things short.
Improved Cardio-Vascular System.
It’s a simple fact that heart and lung capacity increases quickly with interval training, which in turn improves and expands it - the nature of the workouts push your capacity and recovery time. If your heart rate is suddenly raised, you have the capacity to handle it.
More and Continued Fat Burning
Although the aerobic energy system burns carbs and fat, once you stop, the fat burning stops. Also, to burn a beneficial amount of calories, you have to do the exercise for a prolonged amount of time.
Interval training burns more calories over a much shorter time period. Also, the fat burning continues long after the exercise has ended. It can burn up to 9 times more fat!
You can only work at high-intensity for short periods of time. The energy system is then depleted and the body has to create more, and repair itself, which burns fat.
Human Growth Hormone is needed for repairing the body. High intensity interval training causes the release of HGH much more than any other type of exercise.
The stress hormone, Cortisol, is released with exercising for long periods. This in turn raises blood sugar levels and stimulates the production of Insulin, which is responsible for storing glucose. Cortisol also suppresses the immune system and is Catabolic, which is the break down of muscle tissue.
Remember, nothing burns fat like muscle tissue because it’s metabolic. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest.
An Increase in Mitochondria
The more Mitochondria you have, the greater the fat burning potential. HIIT increases Mitochondria, powerhouses that turn nutrients into energy.
Performing High Intensity Interval Taining
HIIT can be done by people of any level of fitness. As your body adapts and improves, you up the intensity more. The trick is to be working at 8-10 of your RPE scale. The RPE scale is the rate of perceived exertion -
You can can also use 85%-95% of your max heart rate.
You’re looking at 20-60 seconds of exercise depending on your level.
After this wait until your heart rate drops to around 65% or less of your max heart rate. Or, 3-5 of the RPE scale.
Then, go again - hit another set of high intensity exercise.
If you’re a beginner, it’s probably best to develop your base CV conditioning before you do HIIT.
There are lots of variations you can do with HIIT - kettlebells, bodyweight, running/brisk walking, resistance training with weights…
Whether you’re looking to increase muscle mass, improve your CV or loose weight, high intensity training is a great option.
If you're looking for a new program to easily add to your routine, with great benefits, you may want to give Tabatas a try.
The History of Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. The first group trained at a moderate intensity level while the second group trained at a high-intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).
The results; Group 1 had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group 2 showed much more increase in their aerobic system than Group 1, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.
In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
The Tabata Program
Each exercise in a given Tabata workout lasts only four minutes, but it's likely to be one of the longest four minutes you've ever endured. The structure of the program is as follows:
You can do pretty much any exercise you wish. You can do squats, push-ups, burpees or any other exercise that works your large muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises work great, too.
An example of a Tabata workout looks like this:
Next, move on to squats and repeat the sequence of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Once you finish eight sets of squats, rest for one minute, and then do burpees. After burpees, finish the workout with mountain climbers.
Tabata is great to get a quick workout in if you're short on time, you need to switch up your routine, or you want improve endurance and speed. Incorporate this type of workout into your fitness routine and produce results.
Tabatas work well with body weight and kettle bell exercises.
Incorporating Tabatas into your lifestyle.
Tabata squats challenge
How many total squat reps can you do in 8 sets?
If 8 sets are too much, try starting with 4 a few times. Build up to 6, then do 8 sets when your ready. Still give yourself the challenge of how many total reps you can do.
What proteins are and where they derive from.
The word ‘protein’ refers to a type of molecule in food that can be broken down into amino acids. The body needs twenty amino acids in which it can produce eleven of these itself. However there are nine, called ‘essential amino acids’ that the body cannot create and has to gain through the consumption of food.
These ‘essential amino acids' or proteins: are: Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Valine and Histidine are always found in foods that come from an animal - so think meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt etc. These are commonly called 'first class' proteins, or high biological value proteins, simply because they contain all the essential amino acids in sufficient amounts. However, do not think that you MUST eat animal foods in order to get all the essential amino acids you need... you don't. All the nine essential amino acids are found in hundreds of foods from the plant kingdom such as beans, pulses, nuts, seeds and grains, but be careful of their high starchy carbohydrate composition. Quinoa (has a high amino acid profile) buckwheat, and barley, chickpeas, steamed tofu, lentils, sprouts like alfalfa all contain high amounts of amino acids.
When we eat, the body breaks down the protein in food in order to create the amino acids that it needs.
What does protein do for us?
Protein is the body’s building block for growth and recovery. Our body is made mainly of proteins. This includes, muscle, skin, organs, hair and nails. The immune system, digestive system and blood all rely on proteins to function correctly. Protein is therefore an essential part of our diet, vital to development and correct functioning of the body.
The protein “component” of the diet is also important if you are looking to effectively lose excess body fat. Protein helps to raise the metabolic rate, keep cravings for sugar at bay, and helps us to feel full or satiated. Often reducing down the “heavy starch” or carbohydrate aspect of a diet, and
either increasing protein slightly, or simply better balancing carbohydrate intake with protein, is enough for people to begin losing fat more effectively.
If our diets contained no protein then our bodies would start to break down muscles in order to produce the protein it needs. Our bodies are great at storing fats and sugars but find it hard to store protein. It is therefore necessary to continually replace the protein that our bodies use.
Protein for effective weight control and hunger control
The 'balancing' effect of adding protein to a carbohydrate-containing meal can be a very positive step in stabilising energy and blood sugar levels, improving the ability of the body’s cells to burn fat, and avoid carbohydrate (sugars) being stored as fat. Eating carb-heavy meals, carb-only meals, and/or snacking too regularly on sugary or carb-only foods can upset 'dietary hormone' balance, encouraging sugar and fat storage.
Eating quality protein at meal times, in the correct amounts, helps to create the proper 'dietary hormone' balance. Establishing an effective balance between insulin and glucagon, stimulates fat 'burning', dis-courages fat storage, and also helps to 'fire-up' the metabolism via the thermic effect of food.
How much protein do we need?
The amount of protein that we need is dependent in part on our age, weight and levels of activity. People with high levels of activity may need slightly more protein than those who lead more sedentary lifestyles. As protein is essential in building and repairing muscle and other tissues slightly more is needed for those actively trying to develop muscle.
To calculate roughly how much protein you need to consume daily: multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8. The answer is the number of grams of protein you should consume every day. If we exercise more, we can add more protein as well as adding carbohydrates, fats, fruit and vegetables. It is important to keep within the national ratio however if your goals are to build muscle or lose fat, these may change slightly.