your com­plete guide to... blood

Essentials (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

It rarely takes cen­tre stage, but blood is a vi­tal part of your body, so here’s how to spot any prob­lems

3. You’re not pre­pared

‘ Without prepa­ra­tion – think pre-cook­ing and pre-mea­sur­ing meals in ad­vance, or batch-cook­ing healthy meals and freez­ing for later – you’re des­tined to fail,’ warns nu­tri­tion­ist Luke Hughes. ‘ This is par­tic­u­larly true of snacks, as you may not re­alise that you’re help­ing your­self to small snacks (like the cheese you de­voured while stand­ing in front of the fridge de­cid­ing what to make for din­ner), elim­i­nat­ing any chance of weight loss.’

4. You haven’t set your­self a re­al­is­tic goal Hav­ing an up­com­ing event, such as a hol­i­day or a wedding, or even just an aim, like dropping a dress size, helps you re­fo­cus and get your head down. Fig­ure out how much you want it and stick to the plan.

5. You aren’t eat­ing enough fat

A low-carb, higher-fat diet is of­ten bet­ter for weight loss as it promotes sati­ety. Be sure to in­clude healthy fats, such as food that’s high in omega-3 like eggs and salmon, to keep you fuller for longer.

6. You’re not track­ing your kilo­joules

‘ You won’t lose fat un­less you’re in a kilo­joule deficit – burn­ing off more en­ergy than you con­sume. En­sure a kilo­joule deficit by re­strict­ing food por­tions through­out the day and use a sim­ple app like MyFit­nessPal to track in­take,’ ad­vises per­sonal trainer Chris Whar­ton.

7. You don’t move enough Due to the na­ture of the mod­ern world, we don’t move enough. In­crease en­ergy ex­pen­di­ture on a daily ba­sis by tak­ing the dog for a walk, climb­ing the stairs, or park­ing fur­ther away from the shop­ping cen­tre en­trance.

8. You’re not sleep­ing enough

‘ Ev­i­dence has shown that sleep deprivatio­n is as­so­ci­ated with the risk of de­vel­op­ing obe­sity,’ ex­plains nu­tri­tion­ist Lily Sout­ter. ‘ Not only does lack of sleep in­crease ap­petite, but it also makes us crave un­healthy foods. Salty, sug­ary and starchy foods are what we tend to turn to for in­stant en­ergy.’

9. You haven’t switched your eat­ing habits

‘ In­stead of reach­ing for a bis­cuit at 3pm, reach for a piece of fruit,’ sug­gests psy­chol­o­gist Dr Christy Fer­gus­son. ‘ Switch white rice for cau­li­flower rice or starchy pota­toes for sweet pota­toes, and make meal­times eas­ier by think­ing, “What can I eat?” in­stead of, “What can’t I eat?”’

10. You eat too much sugar – be­ware, it’s ev­ery­where! Look out for the amount of hid­den sugar that you’re con­sum­ing in those ‘health­ier’ snacks and drinks, and try to limit the amount of fruit you‘re hav­ing to just one or two por­tions per day.

11. Your thy­roid may not be work­ing prop­erly

‘ Your thy­roid gland reg­u­lates your me­tab­o­lism. Un­der­ac­tive thy­roid symptoms in­clude fa­tigue, dry skin and weight gain. If you’re eat­ing well and ex­er­cis­ing, but still aren’t los­ing weight, see your doc­tor,’ ad­vises nu­tri­tion­ist Rosie Millen.

12. You’re mea­sur­ing the wrong re­sults!

Look­ing for proof in the scales is of­ten dis­ap­point­ing! If you’re do­ing a lot of ex­er­cise, you could be im­prov­ing the tone of your mus­cles and los­ing fat, but the scale doesn’t pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about your body com­po­si­tion. Plus, mus­cle weighs more than fat.

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