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Archive for » April 2nd, 2017«

Weight loss app launched in UAE

Weightmonitor UAE, an online mobile app based weight management service, has made its debut in the Middle East fitness and nutrition market with an introductory offer of a free service for the first month.

Weightmonitor UAE understands the goals and objectives of the users and based on their existing lifestyles, health and medical conditions designs a diet plan for them, a statement said.

Whether the person is suffering from diabetes, thyroid, blood pressure or looking for a weight loss program post-delivery, weightmonitor UAE offers its users unrestricted access to a dedicated personal nutritionist and its proprietary motivational scoring tool to help them achieve their objectives and stay fit without having to visit a fitness centre, nutritionist clinic, machine based weight loss programs or use of ineffective diet regimes, it added.

The entry of weightmonitor UAE in the region comes against the backdrop of rising cases of obesity with the average UAE resident being classified as being overweight with a BMI of about 25.6, a statistic, which, according to the spokesman, the program aims to reverse.

Obesity continues to be a serious concern among Dubai and UAE residents at large with current statistics painting a grim picture of the situation. A recent survey by Zurich International Life showed that slightly over 47 per cent of UAE residents were overweight with most of them clocking a BMI of between 25 and 30. According to a senior UAE health ministry spokesperson, obesity induced diseases such as Diabetes in the UAE has affected 19 per cent (1 million residents) of the population and already accounts for 3 per cent of all deaths in the country.

“By pioneering UAE’s online and mobile app-based weight loss space, weightmonitor UAE comes as a sigh of relief for residents who are looking for a result oriented solution while at the same time factoring in their financial muscle, limited time, existing lifestyle, available food and technology,” said Dev Khosla,  founder , weightmonitor UAE.

With its unique and unmatched price point of AED499 for a three-month program, weightmonitor UAE users get access to a nutrition expert multiple times a day and also enjoy up to six diet plans as part of the three-month program. Consulting a nutritionist is not covered in the insurance most often and can be quite expensive.

However with weightmonitor UAE you can get a daily food diary and a score review, weekly weight check-ins and a medical report analysis, which can be conducted via Skype meetings and App chats with their team of in-house certified nutrition experts under the training of India’s top nutritionist, Ishi Khosla.

According to Ishi Khosla, the online and mobile weight loss program will help the user to not only lose weight consistently and stay fit all through, but also learn how to maintain and live a healthier lifestyle for life.

“weightmonitor UAE offers its users the ability to conveniently start an effective and sustainable weight loss program, consult qualified and experienced nutritionists, and motivate them to stay committed until they reach their desired goal and beyond.” said Ishi.

And to show its commitment to transforming Dubai into a fitter, healthier, and stunning city, weightmonitor will be available to users for free in the first month after the launch. This offer will run from April 1 to 30 and users will get access to its premium service.

Upon sign up, a user’s weightmonitor program will be tailor-made to one’s lifestyle, medical condition, and requirements. weightmonitor UAE is available online on weightmonitor.ae and on iOS App Store, and Android Play Store. – TradeArabia News Service

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Girl cruelly compared to a PIG loses over three stone by following THIS diet

Laura Strawbridge, 25, from Guernsey, was a happy go lucky girl, who wasn’t really concerned about her weight or what people thought of her.

But she piled on four stone while at university, and had a photo of her compared to a pig emoji by one of her ex boyfriend’s friends.

Previous to this, Laura says she had “had always been really confident and never really worried about what I looked like”.

However, after going to university, Laura fell into the trap of eating junk food as a quick food solution in between classes and studying, and started to gain some unwanted weight in the process.

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Gibbons praises Tellez after impressive spring with Blue Jays

MONTREAL — Asked to recount what he saw on the long home run he hit over the left field wall at Olympic Stadium Saturday, Rowdy Tellez kept things simple.

“First pitch was a fastball. Second pitch was a fastball,” he began. “Third pitch was a home run.”

Hey, why complicate things? Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Montana DuRapau certainly didn’t, as he tried to sneak three straight heaters past the highly touted Blue Jays prospect in the seventh inning.

Alas, DuRapau discovered that’s not a good strategy against a hitter like Tellez, whose tape measure home run capped a terrific spring in which he hit .281/.378/.438 and flashed the potential that has Blue Jays manager John Gibbons heaping plenty of praise.

“I think Rowdy’s going to come fast. He’s the closest to the big leagues for us. I think first base will be his position for a lot of years here in Toronto,” Gibbons said. “He’s got tremendous power. You saw it today going opposite field. But more than that, he’s a good hitter. And for a big guy, he’s a good baserunner. He’s really turned into a nice first baseman.

“He was really, really good in spring training. The sky’s the limit.”

Tellez, of course, will begin his year at triple-A Buffalo, manning first for the Bisons as he looks to build on a spectacular 2016 season with the double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. But he could be a Justin Smoak or Kendrys Morales injury away from making his major league debut in 2017, something the 22-year-old says he’s doing his best not to think about.

“I just want to go out and do the best I can and leave everything on the field,” Tellez said. “And whatever happens, happens. It’s outside of my control and I’m going to focus on things I can control and play as hard as I can. When that time comes, the time comes. But I’m not focused on that.

“It’s not my call. I’m going to control what I can control and play every day with a smile and leave it all on the field. That’s all I can say—leave it all on the field and enjoy every moment I have.”

Tellez has been busy this spring, fastidiously working to soak up all the knowledge he can in big league camp. He’s learned hitting from Troy Tulowitzki, first base defence from Smoak, and plate approach from Josh Donaldson. He’s taken careful notes through it all and says he can’t wait to get the minor league season started, so he can start applying some of the tools he’s picked up.

“I learned so much from Justin Smoak on the defensive side. How to field groundballs, how to use my feet,” Tellez said. “These guys, I was fortunate enough to be able to talk to them and pick their brains on how they did the things—not only physically, but mentally. These guys have been successful at the highest level. So, why not use what I can use from them and make it into my own.”

The Blue Jays front office has been blown away with the progress Tellez has made since he was selected out of high school in the 30th round of the 2013 draft. He’s completely remodelled his physique, following a strict conditioning and diet program that’s turned him into a promising defensive first baseman and baserunner. He’s also maintained his raw power, breaking out with 23 homers and a .917 OPS last season in double-A.

The primary knock against him is his work against left-handed pitching, which held him to a .264/.345/.456 line last year, versus .310/.404/.559 when facing right-handers. He struck out more and walked less against southpaws, something that will be a focus for him in 2017 as he tries to round out his abilities at the plate. But if he starts seeing left-handed pitching better, look out.

“He has tremendous ability—a really nice swing. It just seems like things are starting to fall in place for him,” said Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin. “He’s doing the right things. Even off the field. Keeping his body fresh, keeping his body mobile. When you’ve got a big body like that, you’ve got to take care of yourself.

“He’s going to hit homers. He just has that leverage, that power. And he’s got a really nice swing to go with that. Hopefully he just builds on that, has a great season, and I’m sure at some point he’ll be knocking on the door.”

Who’s to say when that will be, but there certainly isn’t too much standing in his way. Smoak will begin the year as the Blue Jays’ primary first baseman, but he struggled significantly at the plate over the back half of 2016, and the club has shown a willingness to look for alternatives, giving him just 37 plate appearances from Aug. 16 through the end of the season.

Steve Pearce and Morales will likely play some first base as well, although the majority of their at-bats are expected to come at other positions. After that, Tellez is the next man up. And Gibbons hasn’t been shy to say the big left-hander could very well be a factor with the big league club in 2017—and perhaps for many years than that.

“I’m just humbled and honoured,” Tellez said. “It’s been a great experience and a great feeling to have. But it’s not something for me to worry about. And it’s not something I’m going to worry about. When the time comes, the times comes.”

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Why can’t I lose weight? 5 reasons your diet isn’t working

Losing weight isn’t easy and dieters often fail multiple times before getting it right.

The reasons are multifaceted. Many assume that exercise will solve the weight-loss dilemma — it won’t — or that fat will make you fat. Wrong again.

Here are five reasons your diet may be doomed:

1. Counting calories, but not eating real food

Calories from refined carbohydrates and sugar cause you to eat more, without feeling satisfied. Calories from healthy fats, fiber rich sources, and protein, however are metabolized differently and more likely to lead to effective weight loss. Author Michael Pollen defined “food” as “something that comes from nature, was fed from nature, and will eventually rot.”

Vladislav Nosick / Alamy Stock Photo / Alamy Stock Photo

2. Starting the day with carbohydrates

Cereal, toast with jam, or a big glass of OJ are breakfast staples, but studies show that starting the day with protein, instead of sugary carbohydrates leads to reduced hunger and cravings later in the day. Aim for at least 15 grams of high quality protein in the morning, such as plain yogurt with mixed nuts and hempseed, a plant based protein shake, scrambled eggs, or nut butter on sprouted bread.

Avocado, Spinach and Egg Breakfast Tacos

Time to FAST track your diet?

After years of being told we must eat three meals a day, fasting is now the accepted way to diet or maintain our weight. And, discovers Victoria Woodhall, going hungry could make you happier and healthier, too

Imagine a ‘magic bullet’ that would enable you to lose weight where any number of faddy diets had previously failed. A bullet that could ‘reset’ your immune system and reverse the symptoms of numerous age- and lifestyle-related health conditions including arthritis, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A bullet that could improve mental clarity, encourage your body’s cells to regenerate, and even slow down the ageing process.

Believe it or not, that magic bullet exists. It is available to nearly all of us, and it is totally free. That bullet is called fasting.

Petronella Ravenshear used to maintain her slim physique and the energy she needed for her PR job by eating only once or twice a day. Before the term had gained traction in wellbeing circles, Petronella – now a renowned nutritionist – was practising intermittent fasting. ‘It just suited me,’ she says. ‘At that time, in 2000, when I trained in nutritional therapy, the advice was to eat five times a day. So I made myself eat breakfast and had snacks between meals. But the more I ate, the hungrier I felt. Sure enough, I put on weight.’

A few years later she came across the Metabolic Balance programme, which advocates a five-hour fast between meals. ‘It worked like a dream – my clients lost weight and enjoyed higher energy levels, improved digestion and sleep,’ she says.

Fast forward another couple of years and the evidence for intermittent fasting was stacking up – and not just for weight loss. ‘Studies were showing that calorie restriction and intermittent fasting enhanced health in a number of ways, including reducing insulin resistance, inflammation and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, plus improving brain function and DNA repair. So I happily went back to eating just once or twice a day.’

After years of being told we should eat at least three meals a day, science has given us permission to fast. As a religious and cultural practice, fasting has been around for centuries. It’s also something our bodies are adapted for, says Dr Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, who runs the Buchinger Wilhelmi therapeutic fasting clinics in Spain and Germany.

In order to survive periods of scarcity, our bodies have evolved to switch from ‘external’ nutrition (from food) to ‘internal’ nutrition (from fat reserves). ‘However, we now have a permanent abundance of food and don’t use our fasting mechanisms,’ she says. ‘It’s a pity because so many of us are overweight and have metabolic problems that fasting can help or even eradicate.’ In fact, the latest research demonstrates that important repair processes in the body only happen when we fast.

Fasting has entered the wellbeing lexicon – anyone with a healthy body weight can now skip meals or drastically reduce calories for a time, without necessarily raising red flags about our psychological welfare (fasting is not recommended for those with eating disorders; however there is no evidence that one leads to the other). 

In fact, periods spent abstaining from food have been shown to make us mentally sharper. ‘People commonly report a heightened sense of clarity when they fast,’ says Petronella. ‘In our caveman days, the feeling of hunger would be equated with danger (ie, of starving to death), so we had to be focused in our search for food. 

Fasting increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that interacts with the neurons that affect memory, learning and higher cognitive function. It promotes the growth of new neurons and the development of synapses, while low levels of BDNF are linked to many conditions including Alzheimer’s, depression and premature ageing.’

Dr Michael Mosley’s bestselling The Fast Diet caught the public imagination in 2013 because the rules were simple – five days of normal eating and two fast days of 500 to 600 calories. Experimenting on himself in the BBC documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer, Dr Mosley – who was pre-diabetic with high cholesterol – lost 20lb in 12 weeks and his blood sugar and cholesterol levels returned to normal. 

A 2011 Manchester University study on overweight women had already shown that following a strict diet for two days a week was more effective than conventional low-calorie dieting: ‘The 5:2 dieters saw improvements in insulin sensitivity; they lost twice as much fat and were much more likely to stick to their diet,’ he says.  

The reason why fasting is more powerful than other diets is that we’re not constantly pumping out insulin in response to food. ‘Insulin is not only a fat-storage hormone, but a cell growth accelerator strongly linked with a number of cancers,’ says Dr Mosley.

But it is the type of fat that fasting targets – the visceral fat around the middle – that gives it the advantage over other regimes. ‘Fasting, like exercise, is a stress to the system,’ explains Dr Mosley. ‘It produces adrenalin and growth hormones that target visceral fat.’

And it’s this fat that is associated with a higher risk of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, colorectal cancers and Alzheimer’s.

Nutrition experts agree that, as an entry-level approach to fasting, cutting out snacks is one of the biggest improvements we can make to our health. Leaving several hours between meals encourages fat burning (the hormone glucagon, which tells the body to break down fat, only appears a few hours after eating), is anti-inflammatory and allows our gut microbes to get on with important repair work. 

‘One particular microbe, akkermansia, helpfully prunes the lining of the gut, thus strengthening it, but this only happens when we fast,’ explains Petronella. ‘So-called leaky gut allows pro-inflammatory cytokines to enter systemic circulation and, as most of our modern so-called lifestyle diseases including heart disease, depression, allergies and metabolic syndrome have inflammation at their core, this is something we should try to avoid.’

The evidence in favour of fasting means that we are having to let go of nutritional pillars we thought were unassailable. Most recently, breakfast has been knocked off its perch as the most important meal of the day with Professor Terence Kealey’s book Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal

The clinical biochemist was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2010 and advised to eat three meals a day, starting with breakfast to keep his blood sugar stable. But he noticed that his blood sugar was ‘hazardously’ high after breakfast and set out to challenge the commonly held beliefs such as people who eat breakfast ate less and were less hungry later in the day.

Fellow breakfast-skipper Petronella says many clients are relieved to hear that breakfast is not the be-all and end-all. ‘The first week or so of eating better and less frequently can be hard but soon, although people are eating smaller amounts and less frequently, they are no longer on a blood-sugar rollercoaster and hungry all the time. The 4pm slump becomes a thing of the past. They experience higher energy and better digestion and sleep, as well as improvements to mood and motivation.’

Professor Kealey’s ‘no food before noon’ approach is one of a raft of ‘time-restricted feeding’ fasting styles that involve eating either just one or two meals a day, or eating only within a specific window of time – usually eight hours. Ori Hofmekler’s book The Warrior Diet and Dr Xand van Tulleken’s How to Lose Weight Well both involve eating just an evening meal (the previously overweight Dr Van Tulleken lost six and a half stone by doing this), while the Bodhimaya Method and 8-Hour Diet both deploy the 16:8 (16 hours of fasting with an eight-hour window within which you can eat) approach, popular because it’s relatively simple and won’t compromise your social life. 

Daniel O’Shaughnessy, nutritional therapist and co-founder of the Bodhimaya Method, explains: ‘If you eat between noon and 8pm, for example, then fast for 16 hours, the bulk of no eating is done while you are asleep.’ Obviously, you can vary the eight-hour eating window to suit your lifestyle. Fasting researcher Dr Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago found that ‘time-restricted feeding’ may even produce better biochemical markers than intermittent fasting diets such as the 5:2 and her own ‘alternate-day fasting’ approach.

These extended periods of digestive rest are of interest to longevity scientists because they may improve our healthspan – the number of years we live in good health – as opposed to simple lifespan. If we go without food for long enough – at least 12 hours at a stretch, according to Dr Mosley – it puts the body into a repair state called ‘negative protein balance’ or ‘autophagy’.

‘Your body starts to hoover up all the rubbish,’ he explains. ‘It’s equivalent to taking your car to the garage rather than hammering it down the motorway all the time. It’s the accumulation of debris in your cells that really leads to ageing and age-related diseases. Arthritis, type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions are linked with the build-up of what I would describe as cellular debris. If you can clear that debris on a fairly regular basis, you are more likely to stay healthy.’

During autophagy, explains Dr Wilhelmi de Toledo: ‘The body’s cells are genetically programmed to switch from full activity to protective mode, where they stop growing so fast and repair themselves.’ 

Autophagy, she continues, literally means ‘eating yourself’ (after all, there’s nothing else to eat when you fast) and we’re not talking proteins required for cell building, repair and muscle mass. The body is clever, she says; it homes in on the damaged, old proteins from cells, recycling what can be reused and eliminating waste (she likens the process to humans needing firewood – you wouldn’t chop up your front door, but you might use the broken old chair). 

‘Research from the University of Southern California [USC] shows that fasting cycles shift stem cells from dormant to an active state where they regenerate tissue. This is why, if you fast on a regular basis, you can regenerate your bodily structures.’ However, this stage can’t be accomplished with a simple overnight fast. It takes around four days of continuous fasting to start, which is why Buchinger Wilhelmi offers fasts of a minimum of four days, with adjustment days either side.

These programmes, taken by more than 5,000 people from all over the world every year, have been shown to benefit and sometimes even cure almost all chronic illnesses apart from tuberculosis, advanced-stage cancer and hyperthyroidism. Autoimmune, inflammatory and pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and migraine also respond well, as do depressive states – the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin is more active during a fast.

Fasting is now being employed alongside cancer treatment. It has been shown to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, a phenomenon writer Decca Aitkenhead experienced during her treatment for breast cancer in 2015. She had heard about the research by Valter Longo, professor of gerontology and biological sciences at USC, on how fasting for three days before chemo had led to a reduction in side effects in patients. 

Having been felled for a week by her first round of chemo, she tried Longo’s approach prior to the second round. When the next chemo was administered, Decca prepared for a ‘toxic onslaught’ but it never came.

Fasting may even turbocharge the efficacy of chemo. Professor Longo’s studies in mice show that it puts healthy cells into protective mode while starving cancer cells, making them more vulnerable to chemo. If this can be shown to be as effective in humans, it will be revolutionary.

‘Science is always looking for the magic bullet,’ says Dr Wilhelmi de Toledo. ‘However, we already have that capability within us. Fasting is a magic shield: it protects healthy cells while the unhealthy ones self-destruct.’

It seems that we have unlearned how to leverage our natural capacity for healing and regeneration. And in the age of abundance, the idea of not eating is scary. ‘We have a natural fear of going without food and we need people to guide us to do it in a safe way,’ says Dr Wilhelmi De Toledo. ‘This is what we have been doing [in our clinics] for the past 60 years.’

Going without food for several days (some people fast at Buchinger for two weeks or longer) in a calm and managed environment is easier than it sounds, if testimony from guests is anything to go by. ‘Three days into a fast, the body adjusts to not eating and people experience a feeling of intense calm and serenity,’ says Dr Wilhelmi de Toledo. 

The sympathetic nervous system – our go-go mode – gives way to the restful parasympathetic nervous system, our blood pressure drops, blood sugar stabilises and fat cells release their stores. ‘You become more responsive, you listen more, you have more time – you don’t have to prepare and digest food. It’s a state of introspection where you are more in touch with your intuition.’

With expert supervision needed over several days, regular or annual ‘cyclical fasting’ the way our ancestors did is still only within the reach of those who can afford it (a ten-day stay at Buchinger Wilhelmi costs from 2,440 Euros). A DIY approach is not advised – even at Buchinger, small amounts of food (around 250 calories) are given during fast days, exercise is carefully managed to preserve muscle, counselling and medical staff are always on hand and breaking the fast is supervised carefully.

So what is the alternative? ‘A good practice is to prolong the night fast,’ says Dr Wilhelmi de Toledo. ‘Go according to your hunger and satiety instincts: if you are not hungry in the morning, wait until you are. Most of the time you can go 12 to 14 hours comfortably without eating. During that period, some of the fasting processes will begin and if you do this every day, you’ll get a result that has some of the characteristics of the supervised fast. It’s so simple: eat less.’

The jury is still out on which of the fasting regimes delivers the greatest health benefits – most studies have been done only on mice and some of the diets have no science behind them at all. Dr Mosley is personally pro breakfast and anti eating late, especially if it’s your only meal. ‘The evening is probably the worst time of day to consume all your calories. Your blood sugar and blood fat levels are rising at that time of day, as your body is preparing you for being without food overnight.’ When he ate the same meal at 8am and at 8pm for a TV experiment, his blood sugar levels were raised in the morning, but soared in the evening.

Dr van Tulleken, meanwhile, takes a simpler weight-loss approach. Eating just an evening meal was something he could stick to – it took temptation out of his reach and restricted his calories. ‘It’s difficult to eat more than 900 calories in one meal,’ he says.

There is dispute, too, over what to eat during your fast. Professor Longo advocates a plant-based diet, the Bodhimaya Method revolves around a daily 1:7:2 ratio of carbs to veg to protein and Dr Varady’s book The Every Other Day Diet says you can eat what you like so long as you limit your calories on alternate days.

Dr Mosley acknowledges that not everyone gets on with fasting, and Bodhimaya caution against it for those with adrenal fatigue since fasting produces an adrenal response (it’s also not recommended for children, pregnant women or people with eating disorders, and those with medical conditions should seek advice).

What’s clear is that fasting is a free health resource available to all. However, it’s a challenge in the age of plenty – many of us have forgotten what true hunger feels like – and when there are commercial interests pinned on getting us to eat around the clock.

But remember, it’s OK to feel a little bit hungry – it could even be the very thing that keeps us alive.

Periodic Fasts

 ● The Fast-Mimicking Diet ProLon is a carefully balanced meal box developed by Valter Longo, professor of gerontology and biological sciences. Used for five days every month, it mimics the effects of a ‘periodic’ fast of three or more days said to enable maximum rejuvenation benefits. prolonfmd.com.

Bodhimaya Method also incorporates a Friday night to Monday morning fast every three months with only juices and soups and fasting retreats. bodhimaya.com.

Buchinger Wilhelmi offers ten, 14 and 21 days of medically supervised fasting in a hotel setting. Stays include an initiation phase and at least four days of progressive refeeding. buchinger-wilhelmi.com.

For more on fasting, read Therapeutic Fasting: The Buchinger Amplius Method by Dr Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo.


Fasting by numbers

Beyoncé is said to be a fan of Dr Michael Mosley's The Fast Diet

Beyoncé is said to be a fan of Dr Michael Mosley’s The Fast Diet

5:2, published as The Fast Diet in 2013, is the brainchild of Dr Michael Mosley. It involves five days of normal eating and two ‘fast’ days of now up to 800 calories. Fans include Beyoncé, Benedict Cumberbatch and former chancellor George Osborne.

1:1, published as The Every Other Day Diet by Dr Krista Varady and Bill Gottlieb. Restricts eating to 500 calories every other day. Also called Alternate Day Fasting (ADF). 

8-weeks The Blood Sugar Diet by Dr Michael Mosley involves three small meals totalling 800 calories for eight weeks and is aimed at preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes.

6:1 Simple and straightforward, you just go without food for one day a week. Coldplay’s Chris Martin is a fan.


 Time-restricted feeding

Hugh Jackman favours The 8-Hour Diet

Hugh Jackman favours The 8-Hour Diet

16:8, published as The 8-Hour Diet by Men’s Health editor David Zinczenko and Peter Moore. Fast for 16 hours and consume all food within an eight-hour window. Advocates include actors Jennifer Love Hewitt and Hugh Jackman.









Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington follows The Bodhimaya Method

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington follows The Bodhimaya Method

16:8 + 1:7:2, aka The Bodhimaya Method. Eat within an eight-hour window and ensure your daily intake corresponds to an optimum nutrition ratio of 1:7:2 – one portion carbs; seven fruit and veg, and two protein. Rebecca Adlington is a fan.









The Warrior Diet works wonders for actress Joanna Lumley

The Warrior Diet works wonders for actress Joanna Lumley

The Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler involves only one evening meal, supposedly as our warrior ancestors ate. Actors Joanna Lumley and Nigel Havers attribute their slimness to one meal a day.










Singer Sam Smith stays svelte with the Metabolic Balance Programme

Singer Sam Smith stays svelte with the Metabolic Balance Programme

Metabolic Balance Programme, founded by Dr Wolf Funfack, is now offered by nutritional therapists around the world. A bespoke three-month programme involving five-hour fasts between meals. Adopters include Sam Smith and Jemma Kidd. 









How to Lose Weight Well, Dr Xand van Tulleken’s regime. Eat one 800-calorie meal a day for rapid weight loss and intermittent fasting benefits. Or eat two healthy meals a day totalling 1,200 calories or three meals comprising up to 1,500 calories.

Fit For Life: Diets I’ve Known, Loved and Hated

Saturday, April 01, 2017

I am always asked my opinion on different meal plans and supplements. Is this good? Should I take this? What do you think about this pill or powder? Or what do you think about this diet? Or this food? Well, let me start by saying a general answer that I give everyone. Do what WORKS best for you!

The “type” of meal plan isn’t the most important factor, it’s how well you are going to adhere to the program that makes the difference. If you go on a program loaded with foods that you don’t like to eat, chances of success are less likely. If you must restrict the foods you love the most, then you will be miserable and will suffer more. Also, you are lessening your chances for success. I have tried several types of eating plans and I will give you my opinion on three different ones that I have tried. I think experience is the best way to decide what you like or works best, so you need to try a few and see what happens, and how you feel.

A Vegan Diet. I just recently dove into a 2-week strict vegan diet. I did this because I saw the “Knives over Forks” documentary, and attended a seminar by Dr. Michael Greger. Both are huge advocates of a plant based nutrition plan, all backed by scientifically proven theories that plants heal. My opinion: I hated it. I am a big meat eater, and this was a huge challenge to me. I went out of town for a few days during this “challenge” and struggled even more. To be a healthy vegan, you need to do a lot of work preparing your meals, and combining the right nutrients to get a complete amino acid profile and get enough protein to heal an active body. I also have a big appetite, and found myself eating a bagel here and there, as well as eating more processed food to fill the void. Not good. To do it right and be healthy, you better do your homework, or you will end up looking like most vegans, soft, pasty, and lethargic. Can it be a cure for illness? Yes, but again, only if you do it correctly. Eating bread and processed foods containing sugar is not the way to go.

The Atkins Diet is also another popular plan used to lose weight. I also do not recommend this diet. It restricts your carb intake to as low as 20 grams a day, and encourages you to eat as much fat and protein as you want. Although you may lose a few pounds, I don’t see eating processed meat such as sausage and salami, and indulging in endless amounts of cheese and bacon – healthy. Although it claims to be “healthy” I have a tough time advocating for such a thing. I tried it years ago, and found myself mentally exhausted and not feeling well. Some swear by it, but from a health and fitness professional standpoint, I don’t think its sustainable.

The Paleo Diet. This was brought to popularity by the cross-fit community a few years back, and its premise is to eat like a caveman, and only live off the land, while eliminating processed, manmade foods. A well-known pioneer named Jack LaLanne established a quote years ago by saying, “If it’s man made…don’t eat it”. Another doctor named Barry Sears came out with the Zone Diet a few years later, and it hits on the same points. Eat quality food, and eliminate processed carbohydrates and dairy products. This plan dictates eating the proper amount of grass fed/free range meats, lots of vegetables, and carbs such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and limited amounts of fruit. It also recommends lots of quality fats such as avocado, nuts, and quality unprocessed oils. The only thing I can’t understand about the Paleo is that it eliminates legumes such as black beans, lentils etc. 

At my gym, we are starting our second annual Paleo challenge at Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, and judging by last year’s success, people are going to get amazing results. After going vegan for two weeks, I am dying to jump in with my clients for the next four weeks.

Except for eating legumes, and the occasional piece of cheese and Greek yogurt, I have been eating what people are now calling Paleo for the last 15 + years. I feel that the quality of your food is the number one factor that determines your health. The next important thing is the amount you eat. I first tell my clients to “clean it up” before you take out the scale and measuring cups. When these vegan researchers are giving meat a bad rap and telling us that we eat too much, they are correct on some levels. Too much meat and protein will tax your body, but if you eat the proper amount and eat high-quality food, I find it hard to go wrong. So, to sum it up, I would say to go for quality first. Stay away from industrial farmed meat products, and processed man made garbage, eat lots of organic vegetables, and watch your body transform, all while improving your overall health. 

Matt Espeut, GoLocal’s Health Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health  fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. 

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.


  • MapMyRun
  • MyFitnessPal
  • JeFit
  • Strava
  • YogaStudio
  • SimplyBeing
  • Fooducate


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  • Fit For Life: Take a Deep Breath. Start Again
  • Fit for Life: Summer Swimsuit Syndrome
  • Fit For Life: Thank You For Asking…
  • Fit For Life: The Three Commandments of Gym Etiquette
  • Fit For Life: The Triple D Will Take You There…
  • Fit For Life: Spring Forward…Now, REST!
  • Fit For Life: So, Tell me How You Really Feel…
  • Fit For Life: Prevent That Plateau in The First Place
  • Fit For Life: Resist the Negative!
  • Fit for Life: Right Mindset – Right Result
  • Fit For Life: Simplify!
  • Fit For Life: Tick-Tock
  • Fit For Life: Time for YOU!
  • Fit For Life: Yes, You Can!
  • Fit For Life: Your Decision
  • Fit for Life: “Almost” Doesn’t Cut it
Fit For Life: Proactive. Reactive. Your Choice.
  • Fit For Life: Write Your “Done” List
  • Fit For Life: Work Smarter Not Harder
  • Fit For Life: Time to Take Responsibility!
  • Fit For Life: What if I’m The Bad Guy?
  • Fit for Life: What Is It To You?
  • Fit For Life: What’s in Your Toolbox?
  • Fit For Life: One Extra Degree – Makes all The Difference
  • Fit For Life: No Excuses…
  • Fit For Life: DES·TI·NY
  • Fit For Life: Discipline, Drive, Desire
  • Fit For Life: Do This – Don’t do That
  • Fit For Life: Don’t Believe Everything You Think
  • Fit for Life: Cost-Free Ways to Get Healthier
  • Fit For Life: Claim Your Independence!
  • Fit For Life: 25 Tips to Avoid the Holiday Bulge
  • Fit For Life: 3 Things To Stop Saying – Today
  • Fit For Life: 7 Step Plan For Weight Loss…
  • Fit For Life: Be UNSTOPPABLE
  • Fit For Life: Eat Drink and Be Thankful
  • Fit For Life: Get Addicted, be Obsessed
  • Fit For Life: It Is What it is – or is it?
  • Fit For Life: Life Is a Marathon – Not a Sprint
  • Fit For Life: Life Is Not A Dress Rehersal
  • Fit For Life: Making a List…Checking it Twice!
  • Fit for Life: How Perfect Can You Be?
  • Fit For Life: How Far Have You Come?
  • Fit For Life: Get Battle Ready!
  • Fit for Life: Get Rid of Your F.E.A.R.
  • Fit For Life: Have You Done the whole New Year’s Resolution Thing?
  • Fit For Life: How Bad do You Want It?
  • Fit For Life: “Full Effort is Full Victory” – Gandhi

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