Q&A

New Zealand Fitness - - IN THIS ISSUE -

with fit­ness trainer Tatyana Pikhtin

Q. What are the ben­e­fits of eat­ing sushi?

A. Sushi im­proves the ac­tiv­ity of the heart, blood ves­sels and di­ges­tive tract and stim­u­lates men­tal ac­tiv­ity. Sushi con­tains a lot of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, omega-3, fatty acids and pro­teins. Sushi is nor­mally served with wasabi sauce that con­tains an­ti­sep­tic prop­er­ties and rice is a sup­plier of fiber that is so needed for proper di­ges­tion. Adding sushi to your diet pro­motes an ef­fec­tive weight loss. An av­er­age por­tion con­tains ap­prox­i­mately 350 calo­ries and only 3.6 grams of fat, thus some di­ets are based on the low calo­rie prop­er­ties of sushi.

Q. I skip break­fast in the morn­ing. Why am I not hun­gry and why is it dan­ger­ous to skip break­fast?

A. An hour af­ter you wake up your blood su­gar level starts to drop be­low nor­mal. Many say they do not want to eat for a few hours af­ter wak­ing up. That's right, you might not want to, but your body and cells want to eat. You are un­aware of it as the signs might not be rec­og­niz­able at that time.The de­sire to eat some­thing hap­pens when the su­gar level has al­ready fallen be­low nor­mal, at this time you can al­ready ex­pe­ri­ence mild ir­ri­ta­tion or a small stress as the food did not ar­rive for three to five hours. The body can­not rely on you; it re­lies only on it­self. So, for your blood su­gar level not to fall to a crit­i­cal point (which means death) the glu­cose or su­gar is taken from the mus­cles as glyco­gen and they be­gin to wilt and we lose power and en­ergy. That is why when you are skip­ping break­fast, af­ter a while the body weak­ens and starts loos­ing power by con­stant headaches and over­all tired­ness, which might lead to migraines and chronic body ex­haus­tion.

Q. I have been asked these ques­tions many times: What foods can I eat to speed up my me­tab­o­lism? Is it true that food could be a fat burn­ing food? What are the fat burn­ing foods claim­ing to help you lose weight faster?

A. We must re­al­ize there is only one way to lose weight – to eat less and move more. No food it­self is go­ing to make you lose weight. You need to have a calo­rie deficit if you want to lose weight. How­ever, there are cer­tain foods (ther­mo­genic) that cause the body to work harder dur­ing di­ges­tion by in­creas­ing the amount of heat your body gen­er­ates dur­ing the di­ges­tion process, re­sult­ing in an in­creased me­tab­o­lism for a short amount of time, thus re­duc­ing the num­ber of calo­ries the body re­tains. Our bod­ies need a com­bi­na­tion of three macronu­tri­ents daily – pro­tein, fat and car­bo­hy­drates. Pro­tein is a ther­mo­genic. Sim­ply by in­creas­ing over­all pro­tein in­take and re­duc­ing car­bo­hy­drates (not less than 40 per cent of your daily calo­ries) will cause hor­monal changes that pro­mote weight loss by boost­ing me­tab­o­lism. It has been es­ti­mated that 30 per cent of calo­ries from pro­tein are burned dur­ing di­ges­tion.

The fol­low­ing will give your body the ex­tra meta­bolic kick to shave off weight quickly.

1. Grape­fruit – with reg­u­lar use (150g per day), is able to re­duce the weight of an av­er­age per­son from 1kg to 2kg in two weeks; con­tains vi­ta­min C, helps to liq­uefy fat and re­move it from the body faster.

2. Green Tea – con­tains a chem­i­cal called EGCG that causes the brain and ner­vous sys­tem to run faster, help­ing you to burn more calo­ries. Asian nu­tri­tion­ists rec­om­mend drink­ing four cups a day of green tea. It will give the great­est ef­fect to burn fat.

3. Spicy foods – mainly spices – black pep­per, pep­per, pep­per­oni, mus­tard and horse­rad­ish. Jalapenos (Cayenne pep­per) con­tains cap­saicin, which stim­u­lates me­tab­o­lism, speeds up heart rate and re­duces "bad" fat in the ar­ter­ies. Chili con­tains the sub­stance cap­saicin that "melts" the ex­tra calo­ries for 20 min­utes af­ter a meal.

4. Low-fat dairy prod­ucts – in­creases pro­duc­tion of the hor­mone cal­citriol, which causes the cells to burn more fat. The cal­cium will rev up your me­tab­o­lism and help you lose weight faster, es­pe­cially milk as it con­tains car­bo­hy­drates that will al­low your body to keep your in­sulin lev­els up and caus­ing your body not to store fat. Milk con­tains cal­cium, which is a meta­bolic trigger (it is re­com-mended to con­sume 1,200 to 1,300mg of cal­cium daily).

5. Cin­na­mon – one tea­spoon a day re­duces the level of su­gar in the blood and pre­vents the trans­for­ma­tion of ex­cess car­bo­hy­drates into fat.

6. Gin­ger – ex­pands the blood ves­sels, in­creases me­tab­o­lism and stim­u­lates cir­cu­la­tion.

7. Wa­ter – de­hy­dra­tion has a neg­a­tive ef­fect on get­ting rid of ex­tra kilo­grams.

8. Pro­tein foods – for pro­tein di­ges­tion. You spend more calo­ries to di­gest pro­tein than fats and car­bo­hy­drates. As a re­sult, ex­cess fat is burned.

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