What matters most?
Welcome back Docklanders – I hope your break was relaxing, energising and you are ready to improve your health and wellbeing in 2019! Achieving your goals is always a balance of knowledge and action, so let’s get moving.
If one of your key health and wellbeing goals is to lose body fat, then it’s important that you are aware of and address these four key factors for success. While they are all important, there is an element of priority and impact which should also be noted.
The factors are:
- Proper nutrition;
- Regular resistance/weight training;
- Proper sleep patterns and stress management; and
- Moderate cardio vascular training.
Nutrition will make or break your results. Sugar is the killer here, so make reduction/removal of that your highest priority.
Weight training two to four times per week will help sustain and increase your muscle mass and, in turn, enhance your metabolism.
You will have a tough time losing body fat if you are stressed and not sleeping well – you will not achieve your goals if this is not a focus.
Finally, cardio vascular training alone isn’t a fat loss solution and of the four factors will have the least impact on your results. Cardio is important for maintaining heart and lung health and improve general fitness but shouldn’t be seen as a way to burn fat.
Physical and mental health benefits of exercise
We all know that a regular exercise routine can have great benefits for our health and well-being. The National Guidelines for Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour recommends:
Adults (aged 18-64) should exercise with moderate intensity for at least 300 min/week; and
Children and young people (aged 5-17) need at least 60 minutes of vigorous activity EVERY day.
Please take a minute to check where you, your family and friends are in this regard – do they need your help to live a healthier life? Working out or exercising with family and friends is a great way to build healthier and happier families and communities – why don’t you take the lead?
Have you heard about the brain chemical serotonin? Exercise helps stimulate the synthesis of serotonin and maintain healthy levels within the brain and body. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, whereas higher levels are associated with “feeling great!”
Aerobic activities like walking, running, riding and swimming are noted as better forms of exercise for serotonin production, but of course any form of activity is better than none at all.
So if you notice any of your friends are going through a tough time, one of the best things you could do is to get them exercising!
Fibre is satisfying
Fibre is our friend if we are trying to lose weight and stay healthy. High-fibre foods make great snacks as they leave us feeling satisfied after consumption. Conversely, junk food and fast snacks are often low in fibre which leads to over-consumption and feeling unsatisfied. Therefore, we should increase our awareness and seek out foods high in fibre as this will ensure we stay on track with our weight loss goals.
People often think fruit and vegetables are high in fibre which is mostly true but is a generalisation. It’s worth knowing the best, highest density sources of fibre so you can make the best choices.
Here is a list of six fruit and veggie snacks and their approximate fibre content per 100g: dates - 8 grams; avocado - 7 grams; passionfruit -10 grams; prunes -7 grams; coconut - 9 grams; and berries - 6-8 grams.
It is worth knowing that lentils (15 grams) and beans (14 grams) are great sources of fibre but will require some preparation for snack foods.