Why can’t I shift those ki­los?

Dr Libby an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about liv­ing a health­ier life. She ex­plains why you shouldn’t al­ways run and ex­tols the magic of eggs.

Matamata Chronicle - - Health/news -

Ques­tion: I eat well and run ev­ery day but I’m still over­weight. Do I just need to run more? I’m not sure when I’ll fit this in but am get­ting des­per­ate to shift some ki­los. Thanks, Lyn. Hi Lyn, the body gets many dif­fer­ent mes­sages that tell it to ei­ther burn or store fat.

Body shape and size is not sim­ply the re­sult of the calo­ries con­sumed ver­sus calo­ries burnt. While there could be many rea­sons why your body is choos­ing to store fat rather than burn it, the place where I sug­gest you start look­ing is your stress lev­els.

When the body per­ceives that it is un­der stress it pro­duces the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol.

Cor­ti­sol en­cour­ages the body to store fat, be­cause his­tor­i­cally longterm stress typ­i­cally in­volved floods, famines or wars. In all of these sce­nar­ios, food was scarce. So the body adapted to store fat.

How­ever nowa­days long- term stress rarely means a short­age of food. It usu­ally comes from wor­ries about fi­nances, re­la­tion­ships, health – your own or a loved one’s – or weight.

For many



first wak­ing thought is ‘‘what will I or won’t I eat to­day? How much ex­er­cise can I get done to­day?’’ and ex­ces­sive car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise can also stim­u­late the re­lease of cor­ti­sol.

This com­mu­ni­cates to ev­ery cell in the body that food is scarce and mus­cle break down then en­sues to slow me­tab­o­lism down to en­sure body fat is main­tained. This makes it more likely for you to sur­vive the famine your body per­ceives it is go­ing through.

You know you are safe and that food is abun­dant, but the mes­sages your body is pick­ing up on may be com­mu­ni­cat­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent. Try in­cor­po­rat­ing some restora­tive prac­tices, such as tai chi or restora­tive yoga, into your rou­tine in place of some of the run­ning. You may like to switch to walk­ing, too.

There is noth­ing wrong with run­ning if it serves your health but if you ‘‘eat well and run ev­ery day’’ as you de­scribe, but your body is not re­spond­ing, it is time to go be­yond these strate­gies to ob­tain the out­comes you seek. Ques­tion: I was told many years ago that eggs were bad for me so I stopped eat­ing them. But I have read now that they don’t im­pact choles­terol. Are eggs good to eat? Thanks, Ken. Hi Ken, eggs are an ex­cel­lent food choice for many rea­sons. They are a source of com­plete pro­tein, mean­ing they con­tain all es­sen­tial amino acids nec­es­sary in cor­rect pro­por­tions to sup­port bi­o­log­i­cal func­tion.

The ma­jor­ity of the nutri­tion in an egg is in the yolk. All of the fat­sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins namely A, D and E are present in the yolk.

Eggs are one of few foods that nat­u­rally con­tain vi­ta­min D, a vi­ta­min es­sen­tial to mood, im­mune func­tion and bone health.

Eggs con­tain iron, which is still the most com­mon nu­tri­ent de­fi­ciency in the Western world, so we must be con­scious of where we ob­tain our iron from.

Eggs con­tain vir­tu­ally all nu­tri­ents hu­mans need ex­cept cal­cium and mag­ne­sium, which are in the shell. They also con­tain dis­ease- fight­ing nu­tri­ents like lutein and zeax­an­thin. These nu­tri­ents are carotenoids that have been in­di­cated to re­duce the risk of mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion.

They also con­tain cho­line which is an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of acetyl­choline, a neu­ro­trans­mit­ter found in the brain in­volved in mem­ory and mus­cle con­trol.

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fairfaxmedia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered. Dr Libby is a nu­tri­tional bio­chemist, best-selling au­thor and speaker. The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended to be a sub­sti­tute for di­rect, per­son­alised ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional.

There are many good rea­sons to in­clude eggs in your diet.

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