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Food & Supplements

  • Why Detox Diets Can Be Dangerous

    Yesterday, we published a fairly comprehensive article on the dangers of detox diets, entitled "Detox Diet Dangers & Health Risks". Within this article, there is some really important information as to why detox diets can be dangerous to your health and well being, contrary to what is purported within the advertising campaigns of such diets.

    Generally, detox diets rely on the removal of many foods from your dietary intake for a limited period of time. There are many variations available on the market, as is explained within the article.

    A detox diet seems to make sense on the surface; you've been eating garbage for a long time and you need to cleanse your body to rid yourself from the build-up of toxins over the years. But what you may not be aware of is that your body already has highly intricate detoxification systems present that do all this work for you! Now, that's not to say that you can eat all the garbage in the world and your body will automatically cleanse itself. Eventually, after enough abuse, your body will begin to struggle to detoxify itself and this is when medical complications inevitably arise.

    The fact that your body already does the detoxification work for you, in my opinion, renders these detox diets practically useless. In fact, I believe that they can be quite harmful because they starve your body of vital nutrients that are imperative for the normal functioning of the human body.

    A good point is raised within the article that detox diets, whilst potentially dangerous, can assist some people in developing healthier lifestyle habits after the diet has ended. Allow me to clarify - a detox diet in my opinion is not a healthy lifestyle habit. A healthy approach to your lifestyle includes a well balanced diet and consistent exercise.

    Now guess what the best detox diet is (without actually being a detox diet) - eating a well balanced diet and exercising regularly. You don't need to "wash out" your body - your body does that for you. Your body can cleanse itself far more effectively by providing it with essential nutrients than by starving it for a short period of time.

    If I haven't convinced you to scrap the idea of a detox diet, please have a read of the article Detox Diet Dangers & Health Risks. And if you're still not convinced, please drop us a line and I'll be more than happy to discuss this topic with you.

  • Detox Diet Dangers & Health Risks

    The research suggests that detox diets don't actually do much to detox, or cleanse your body. Rather, there are many dangers and health risks associated with these short-term fasting diets.
  • What Did You Eat Today? - Keeping a Food Diary

    It's a simple question - what did you eat today? Upon first glance, it may seem simple and straight forward...but can you actually remember everything that went into your mouth? Furthermore, exactly what did you consume over the weekend? Now that's when this exercise becomes a little trickier.

    You see, the biggest problem that many of us face when it comes to weight loss is watching what we eat. Just a few minor changes with nutrition can go a long way in terms of losing that unwanted body fat. However, in order to solve the nutritional problem that you may be facing, you first need to know exactly what the problem is. Without knowing exactly what you have consumed and when, it can be difficult to isolate the area's that require tweaking.

    For many of my clients, I have suggested to record a food diary that details the foods that were consumed, in what amount and at what time. It's quite simple to do and does take a little of your time (say, 5-10 minutes in a day). For such little effort, it can provide a wealth of valuable information! I cannot count the number of clients that, upon reviewing their food diary, have said to me "Wow...I didn't know I ate that much" or "I couldn't believe how many sweets I ate this often!". More often than not, it comes as a bit of a shock.

    Ultimately, it's very easy for us to forget all the details of foods that we consume, particularly when:

    1. You are probably really busy with other tasks
    2. You would rather forget about eating the junk food!

    The other big advantage of a food diary is the accountability of keeping one. You have to be honest with yourself, otherwise this exercise is useless. But by writing down everything that you eat, you know that you have to answer to yourself. Even better, have someone else (a friend, family member or personal trainer) to check it for you to keep you really honest!

    Wouldn't it be better to have your complete food diary written down, objectively, so you can review and analyse what exactly is going wrong? Try giving it a go for a week and see what value it brings to your weight loss efforts.

  • Three Nutritional Tips For When You Are Going Out

    It's Friday and I'm just about to leave the office early to head out for a night in the city! So this inspired me to post up a few nutritional tips that I have found to be helpful when I'm out and about.

    Going Out Nutritional Tip 1: Take a Protein Bar

    If you're really serious about your goals, whether that be gaining muscle or losing fat, you'll know that it is important to eat regularly, every 2-3 hours. Personally, I've found a protein bar in my pocket is a really convenient source of calories if you're not at a restaurant (eg. a music concert, club, public event etc.) You don't have to go out of your way to find a local food store - just reach into your pocket and enjoy!

    If you decide to take me up on this idea, chances are that your friends may laugh at you (I know plenty of mine have). Ultimately though, you need to decide what's more important to you - your goals and lifestyle, or impressing others.

    Going Out Nutritional Tip 2: Eat Sensibly

    No matter where you are going, if there is food involved, eat sensibly! I know this is common sense, but this is much easier in theory than it is in practice.

    At the restaurant, go through the menu quickly and pick something that you will enjoy yet is also going to be healthy for you. Don't have dessert (unless you generally eat well and want a treat) - if offered, gracefully decline WITHOUT considering. Try to detach yourself from the emotional pull of sweets and make rational decision based on your goals and your recent history of eating.

    Going Out Nutritional Tip 2: Drink Water

    Make sure you drink plenty of water. This is not only a general health tip to keep you hydrated, but this it is also important to avoid drinking calorie dense drinks (alcohol, fruit juices, soft drinks) if you are really serious about your goals. Yes, in fact alcohol is extremely dense in calories - pure alcohol contains nearly as many calories as if you were drinking pure fat!! Looking at the calories per gram below, you can see where alcohol lies relative to fat, proteins and carbs:

    • Carbs/Protein: 4 cal/g
    • Alcohol: 7 cal/g
    • Fat: 9 cal/g

    So, a shot of vodka contains quite a few calories! Add a soft-drink mixer in a tall glass and you're practically doubling the calories!!

    --

    Really, you don't have to make much a sacrifice to be smart when you're out. You can have a great night out and also work effectively toward your health and fitness goals.

  • Stay Away from CARBS!

    Have you been fooled into thinking that carbohydrates are "evil"? That you should avoid these nutrients at any expense so you don't experience unwanted fat gain? Have low-carb diets taken over your life?

    Well, think again. Carbohydrates are in fact a nutrient; something that is required for the normal functioning of the human body. By eliminating carbohydrates altogether from your dietary intake, you significantly increase the risks of problems such as:

    • Malnourishment
    • Initiation of ketosis, a potentially dangerous condition resulting in breakdown of bone, damage to organs, amongst other things
    • Lack of energy
    • Constipation
    • Bad breath
    • Loss of concentration
    • Kidney stones
    • Kidney infections
    • Reduced kidney function
    • Gout
    • Diabetes
    • Osteoporosis
    • Cancer
    • Irritable bowel syndrome, severe abdominal pain or cramps
    • Vertigo, dizziness or light-headedness
    • Nausea
    • Severe menstrual problems
    • Diarrhoea

    I could continue, but I think you get the idea. Carbohydrates are in fact a requirement for a healthy body!

    But how did carbs become associated with such a negative stigma of being the nutrient that makes everyone fat? Here's an extract from our free weight loss course:

    Carbohydrates, commonly referred to as "carbs" have been assigned a very negative connotation over the past couple of decades. One could trace this back to the Atkins Diet which gained significant exposure in the early 1990's following it's revitalisation as a result of the Robert Atkins' (M.D.) best selling book, "Dr. Atkins". This diet is an extremely low carbohydrate diet. In actual fact, the Atkins Diet was developed in the 1960's - so it's nearly 50 years old! (And here I was saying that the food pyramid was outdated!)

    Many people have lost a significant amount of weight as a result of a carbohydrate depleted diet. This then paved the way for many new "low-carb" diets and products to be marketed successfully, promising weight loss in a short period of time. But unfortunately the health, wellbeing and long-term sustainability of such low-carb diets are often not contemplated when the words "FAST WEIGHT LOSS" are flashed in front of consumers eyes. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, many low-carb dieters have experienced problems [such as those listed above].

    Especially if you want to lose weight, build muscle or improve your fitness in a healthy and sustainable manner, it is imperative to balance your nutrition! I highly recommend that you sign up to our free weight loss course for more information!

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