12-Hour Fasting – A Key Strategy For A Longer, Healthier Life

12-Hour Fasting – A Key Strategy For A Longer, Healthier Life

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know that if you want to be healthy, you should eat primarily healthy food. But what you might not know is, the timing of what you eat matters just as much as what you eat; and there is growing evidence that 12-hour fasting is so protective of health that it can even attenuate the effects of a high-fat diet. What Is 12-Hour Fasting? Also called time-restricted feeding (TRF), 12-hour fasting confines food consumption to a 12-hour window or – put another way – is the practice of, during a 24-hour period, maintaining a 12-hour window where no food is consumed. In practice this may mean that any and all meals/snacks are consumed between 7am and 7pm, with no food being consumed between 7pm and 7am (or 8am-8pm as another example). Some studies actually define time-restricted feeding as an 8-9 hour period, which also shows benefit although not as realistic or easy to achieve as 12 hours. But Why? There has been a lot of research done on many different types and variations of fasting, but I like this particular type of fasting for both what the evidence says, and the logic behind it. There was a time when, in all likelihood, humankind rose with the sun – and days effectively ended with sundown. With no electricity, and only flame for light, food preparation and consumption would have been mostly confined to daylight hours. Nowadays, with access to electricity, we can make meals in the dark well before dawn, and – especially given the long hours some of us keep – make dinner well...
Alcohol and Weight Loss do NOT go together!

Alcohol and Weight Loss do NOT go together!

Now.. as President of the Chardonnay Fan Club it pains me greatly to say this.. but in the battle of the bulge, alcohol is not your friend. So much so that, eliminating alcohol is one of my top tips if you are following a weight loss program of any sort.   Now this doesn’t mean you must abstain forever but there is no point in eating well, following an exercise program, and doing everything else right – only to undo all your efforts with a glass of your favourite poison. Whilst each drink contains approximately 100-150 empty calories, that’s not the only reason I recommend you opt for an alcohol-free stint in order to get the results you want…   Alcohol Inhibits Fat Burning Studies indicate that alcohol blocks the body’s ability to oxidise (burn!) fat and speeds up its ability to store fat – YIKES. [1] [2] It appears that just over 2 standard drinks down regulates fat burning by 73% which is bad news if you’re trying to slim down. Alcohol Lowers Testosterone So this one is more for the boys, and gentlemen – this is a biggie. In one study alcohol was found to suppress testosterone levels by almost 7% in just 3 weeks.[3] This is bad news if you’re trying to build muscle. In another study testosterone levels dropped, on average, by 23% between 10-16 hours after the guys started drinking. This study also found that cortisol levels were elevated, on average, by 36% and growth hormone was heavily suppressed. [4] This perfect storm sets you up for muscle loss and fat gain. It also appears that if you’ve...
Avoid Unhealthy Snacking with a Protein-rich Brekkie!

Avoid Unhealthy Snacking with a Protein-rich Brekkie!

A protein-rich breakfast can significantly improve appetite control and help to reduce unhealthy snacking in the evening, new research says. Eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and reduces unhealthy snacking on high-fat or high-sugar foods in the evening, according to the first ever study to the impact of breakfast consumption on daily appetite and evening snacking in young people. Led by Professor Heather Leidy from the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA, the research shows that consumption of high-protein breakfasts leads to increased satiety – of feelings of fullness – along with reductions in brain activity that is responsible for controlling food cravings. The high-protein breakfast also reduced evening snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods compared to a normal protein breakfast from ready-to-eat cereal was consumed or when breakfast was skipped, Leidy said – adding that such a shift in dietary habits could help to battle rising levels of obesity. “Eating a protein-rich breakfast impacts the drive to eat later in the day, when people are more likely to consume high-fat or high-sugar snacks,” said Leidy. “These data suggest that eating a protein-rich breakfast is one potential strategy to prevent overeating and improve diet quality by replacing unhealthy snacks with high quality breakfast foods.” Research Details Leidy and her team studied 20 overweight or obese adolescent females aged between 18 and 20. Participants were split to either skip breakfast, consume a high-protein breakfast consisting of eggs and lean beef, or to eat a normal-protein breakfast of ready-to-eat cereal. The breakfasts consisted of 350 calories and were matched for dietary fat, fibre, sugar and energy density. The team...
Breakfast in a Cup

Breakfast in a Cup

Frozen Raspberry Vanilla Frappe For quite some time I have been obsessed with my Banana, Cinnamon and Oat Smoothie and I’ve found it hard to choose something else for brekkie but this morning I got up and the last banana was beyond brown and I had to go for something else. Overdue for supermarket shopping I found my options were somewhat limited, but I always keep frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) in the freezer so that’s where I turned. This smoothie is ridiculously quick and easy, and on a day like today when the weather was quite balmy – so yummy and refreshing!!   Recipe 150 ml of chilled, filtered water* 25 ml organic cream (Yup, you read that right. Cream. I will explain later**) 1 1/2 scoops of Whey Less French Vanilla*** 1/2 cup frozen raspberries Blend, blend and blend! If you’ve read my earlier recipe forgive me for repeating myself here, ignore the rest of this article, and enjoy your smoothie – but for anyone who is scratching their head, read on. Notes: * about the chilled, filtered water. I am personally not a fan of ice-cold drinks but typically smoothies are made with milk cold from the fridge. Omitting this and using room temperature water means it can be a bit tepid and meh. So the chilled water gives the smoothie the right mouth feel and flavour. ** about the organic cream. I do sometimes make my smoothies using straight milk (organic of course) but when you use this blend of water and cream you end up with roughly the same amount of fat but half the sugar content. This is a nifty little option...
Not all Calories are Created Equal

Not all Calories are Created Equal

Reducing refined carbohydrates may help maintain weight loss better than reducing fat A new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association challenges the notion that “a calorie is a calorie.” The study, led by Cara Ebbeling, Ph.D., associate director and David Ludwig, MD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital, finds diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal – either low-glycaemic index or very-low carbohydrate – may be preferable to a low-fat diet for those trying to achieve lasting weight loss. Furthermore, the study finds that the low-glycaemic index diet had similar metabolic benefits to the very low-carb diet without negative effects of stress and inflammation as seen by participants consuming the very low-carb diet. Weight re-gain is often attributed to a decline in motivation or adherence to diet and exercise, but biology also plays an important role. After weight loss, the rate at which people burn calories (known as energy expenditure) decreases, reflecting slower metabolism. Lower energy expenditure adds to the difficulty of weight maintenance and helps explain why people tend to re-gain lost weight. Prior research by Ebbeling and Ludwig has shown the advantages of a low glycaemic load diet for weight loss and diabetes prevention, but the effects of these diets during weight loss maintenance has not been well studied. Research shows that only one in six overweight people will maintain even 10 percent of their weight loss long-term. The study suggests that a low-glycaemic load diet is more effective than conventional approaches at burning calories (and keeping energy expenditure) at a higher...