Carbohydrates – a good thing or a bad thing?



Carbohydrates get a bad press of these days for a variety of different reasons but a number of widely held beliefs do bear closer examination. 

Weight loss

We are often told that cutting carbohydrates will lead to weight loss and thousands, if not millions, of diet books have been sold explaining why.

 

However, not all research backs this up and whilst it may be true that some studies have found low-carb diets to be more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets in the short-term, in the longer term both approaches produce modest weight loss at best.

 

A 2015 review of the research on different types of diet found that low carb diets marginally outperformed the low-fat diet. However the difference in weight loss on the groups of dieters was tiny with the low-carb dieters losing about one girl kilogram more after 12 months.

One expert advised that the best way of losing weight was simply to eat less of everything in a way that can form a habit and be maintained over a long period. That sounds less complicated to us!

A low-carb diet is healthier?

This is what we are led to believe but as carbohydrates come from plants i.e. greens, fruit and vegetables, if we make the decision to restrict this type of food in our diet our overall health is likely to suffer. Many plant foods are rich in the vitamins, minerals and fibre that we need to stay healthy.

 

However, there is a big difference between unrefined and refined plant foods.

A diet high in unrefined whole grains protects against cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes, but swap these for refined grains like white flour, white bread, sugar and white rice and your risk of poor health will increase.

 

Wholegrains and carbohydrate rich foods such as legumes also encourage a healthy diversity of gut bacteria, something that is linked to reduced inflammation, better immunity and improved mental health.

One recent study found that switching to a high-fat, no carb diet lowered the number of beneficial bacteria residing in the gut.

Avoid fruit – really?

Fruit contains sugar so some people believe that fruit can be bad for you but this simply isn’t true. The sugars in fruit are absorbed slowly and steadily so making fruit your go to snack will mean that you will get essential nutrients fibre and antioxidants all wrapped up in a low kilojoule package.

Where fruit can be a problem however is when it’s juiced. Drinking fruit as juice makes it easier to ingest more kilojoules and also releases the fruit sugar (fructose) faster into your bloodstream. You will also reduce some of the benefits of the fibre by pulverising fruit so finely that it changes the physical structure. Some commercial juices will even remove the fibre altogether. On balance it is best to stick to whole fruit.

 

We hope that this clarifies some of the myths surrounding low-carb diets.

 

Mayfair, we care.

Dealing with Severe Fatigue


Nowadays many of us live a life in a way that is not really natural for either our bodies, or in many cases, our mental state. Of course, we are tough and many will adapt sooner or later.

However, there are negative side effects that many of us have to deal with and severe fatigue is definitely one of those side effects.    

The pace of an average person's life has increased significantly over the past two decades. And even at primary school, we all have countless pressures and often too much to deal with.

Important Note:   Severe fatigue can be a side effect of countless diseases and mental illnesses, and as such it is extremely important to visit your personal doctor as soon as possible if you are facing constantly weary.        

What is Severe Fatigue?     

The severity of fatigue is rather hard to determine as we all deal with fatigue in different ways. What might be an extreme case for one person may be just tiredness for someone else and if you are simply tired, or even exhausted, by the end of a tough and long day, you are not facing severe fatigue. The term severe fatigue is used when one is constantly tired.

When one must deal with very low energy levels all day every  day for then you've probably got severe fatigue on your hands and should definitely schedule an appointment with your doctor to check your physical and mental health.

How to Fight Severe Fatigue?     

Once you have determined that the cause of severe fatigue doesn't actually lie in health issues, then it is time to take the matter in your own hands. For a healthy person to be facing severe fatigue, it absolutely means s/he is doing quite a few things wrong and that s/he should make some lifestyle changes ASAP.    

Understanding that modern-day pace of life can result in many perfectly healthy individuals facing severe fatigue too often. For those, we offer the following hints and tips to get your energy levels back to normal.     

Get more sleep    

Many of us deal with the crazy pace of work and life in general by creating longer days and cutting down on sleep hours to work longer or fit in some leisure time. Keep in mind that we all need to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is basically recovery time and we just can't function properly without getting enough of it.    

Change your dietary habits    

Just as sleep is the recovery time, the food we consume is the fuel. If the fuel is of poor quality, it is just not providing our body with the nutrients it needs. Our body needs enough minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, fibre, proteins, and complex carbs. As such proper diet is as equally important as sleep. Examine the possibility of having a well balanced diet and try cutting out or reducing the amount of fast and processed food intake.   

Exercise      

It might sound strange to deal with severe fatigue by exercising, but a human body is built to move. You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of some sort of exercise performed daily. Walking is one of the healthiest choices. Also add some straight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, and lunges.

When we exercise our bodies produce hormones that will elevate your energy level and help you cope with severe fatigue.    

Everyone needs a relaxation    

If we are mentally exhausted, our physical state won't be any different. As such it is important to treat yourselves with some sort of relaxation that best suits you on a daily basis.

Meditation and Yoga (which will at the same time cover the above point) tend to be the most effective ones, but it can be anything you like that helps you relax and clear your mind; reading, or a hobby you enjoy are other alternatives to help you switch of from the daily grind.

In summary

If you believe you are dealing with severe fatigue, first schedule an appointment with your doctor. If you are physically and mentally healthy, you should change your lifestyle by improving all four aspects that affect your energy levels the most - SLEEP, DIET, EXERCISE, and RELAXATION.         

Good luck!

 

Mayfair, we care.

 

List of sources: 

https://www.healthline.com/health/fatigue#causes   https://www.webmd.com/balance/how-tired-is-too-tired#1   https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/fatigue/basics/causes/sym-20050894   https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248002.php

 

Top Tips For The Best Get Fit Program


The main reason people fail when starting a get fit program is they do not set daily goals and targets. Not having something to work towards results in failure to follow through with exercise plans and diet changes.

However if you are looking to improve your health and well-being by starting a get fit program, then all you need to succeed is to have some simple goals and targets. All that is required on your part is some planning.

Starting a get fit program can be made a lot easier by following these simple steps:

Good habits

Decide to make diet changes and exercise daily considerations. Experts say over and over again that diet and exercise go hand in hand. This doesn't mean that you have to go on a restricted diet for the rest of your life. It simply means that you need to watch what you eat.

Control your portions and limit your fat, sodium, cholesterol and sugar intake. In addition some form of exercise that you enjoy is ideal. Schedule this into your routine daily if possible or at least three times per week.

Exercise when it suits you. Include your workout when it works for you. If you find getting up and exercising first thing in the morning works best for you then do that. Or if you prefer to fit your exercise in at lunchtime or when you get home at night then that’s fine too.

As long as it works for you then that is what is important. Make sure however, do not substitute exercising for a meal, if you choose to workout in the morning make sure you still eat a healthy breakfast. The same applies at lunchtime and dinner. Remember you must eat a healthy diet for the best results.

Enjoy it

Exercise can be something you enjoy. Exercise does not need to be boring. You may find you enjoy going to the gym or doing a fitness DVD at home. Outdoor activities may be your thing.

Cycling, jogging, hiking, dancing and even gardening are great ways to lose weight and get fit. When starting a get fit program it is important to choose something you will really enjoy doing, so remember that fitness can be fun so try to keep things interesting.

Fill your cupboards with healthy foods and snacks. If you find you are tempted by unhealthy foods and snacks then ban them from your home. If they are not available you cannot be tempted.

Instead stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, yogurt, low fat cheeses, lean meats, whole grains and rice. Watching what you eat is the best way to get the most out of your fitness program. Also eating the wrong foods will make it harder to lose weight which may actually knock you off track and lower your motivation.

Water

Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. We need to drink water in order to maintain proper bodily functions. As our bodies are mostly made up of water we need to regularly top up water levels to keep our bodies functioning at their best.

Drinking 8 glasses of water a day helps to flush out toxins and improve metabolism. Try to stick to clean filtered water and avoid sugary sodas, juices and teas and coffee.

Common Mistakes People Make In Their Fitness Program

1/ Reducing sleep time to do exercise.

A busy life makes people have little time for activities besides work including doing exercise. Many people decide to cut down their sleep time so that they can have more time to exercise. It is not good if your sleep time is reduced to less than 6 or 7 hours per day. Shortage of sleep may cause many problems relating to your health that badly affect work, your studies and others. 

2/ Overdoing it the first time

This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes in doing exercise. When starting out, many of us are usually eager and have the tendency of doing too much of it. This can cause some injuries for your muscles or bones. Specialists advise that you should increase the intensity gradually each day so that your body can get used to it. When doing exercise, the duration and the regularity are more important than the intensity.

3/ Exercising when you are hungry

To save time, many people go to the gym right after work. After a long working day, you will be very hungry in the afternoon. Doing this will make you feel exhausted and the exercise is not as effective. As a result, you will not gain good results. However, you should not do the exercise right after having a meal or you may get a stomach ache as well.

4/Wearing clothes that are too tight.

In order not to feel comfortable during exercise, do not wear tight clothes. Wearing those clothes in doing exercise is not good for your health. It may tighten your blood vessels and prevent blood from circulating. Further more, tight clothes also make it difficult for you to do some movements like raising your legs, spreading your legs wide apart, etc.

When starting a get fit program the above tips can be helpful to you. Try to remember your goals and what you have set out to achieve for the day. This will make exercise and getting fit a whole lot easier.

Remember, Mayfair cares.

 

Sugar & Your Health


Sugar is as toxic as alcohol – so they say.

But is it? How can something that makes you feel so good after you’ve eaten it be bad for your health? Simple, like everything else, when eaten to excess it is very bad for you according to the World Health Organisation(WHO) who recommend that no more than 10% of our energy intake should come from ‘free sugars’

 What are ‘free sugars’?

The WHO define free sugars as "all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices". But it does not include sugar that is naturally present in milk, whole fruit and vegetables which are regarded as safe to eat in any amounts.

What is that in calorie terms?

For those counting calories, the recommended average intake for a woman is 2,000 and for a man it is 2,500 so 10% of those figures is easy to work out. For a woman it is around 12 teaspoons full of sugar a day.

However! It is never as easy as that. Lurking in a pack of stir fry sauce is the equivalent of 12 teaspoons of sugar and a can of your favourite fizzy drink is likely to contain 10.

This is no secret though. Checking the content of the labels on everyday foods we take for granted is both a revealing and sobering exercise. Soft drinks carry the most danger because they can deliver large amounts of sugar into the bloodstream very quickly. In fact anyone drinking more than one can a day would be consuming up to 25% of their energy intake from sugar which is regarded as a health risk.

'Diet' drinks

Don’t be fooled by the prefix ‘diet’ against many popular soft drinks either. All this means is that the sugar has been replaced by chemicals that taste like sugar and the jury is out on the long term health effects of artificial sweeteners so the best approach is moderation - or water!

To sum up the dangers of too much sugar it is fair to say that greater knowledge of what we are all eating and drinking would make for a healthier society and the information is not secret. Reading the contents labels in supermarkets prior to purchase and / or internet research will quickly advance your knowledge about where the ‘free sugar’ lurks and where you can find the healthy, natural sugar.

Good luck and remember, Mayfair cares!

The Benefits of Slow and Steady Weight Loss


When it comes to weight loss, slow but steady wins the race. While fast weight loss may have noticeable results within a short time, it is not sustainable in the long run. Patience is a virtue which works wonders when incorporated in weight loss.

Risks associated with rapid weight loss.

Losing weight fast is something that’s highly sought after by most overweight people, because of the instant gratification it results in. Many go on diets which promise them quick results, only for the weight to come back soon after stopping the diet. Furthermore, rapid weight loss is unsafe and poses several risks, such as:

· Dehydration.

When people seek to lose weight fast, they often go on quick-fix yo-yo diets which yield the promised instant results but at a greater cost. When one starts losing weight, the first thing to go is usually water. Losing weight rapidly puts one at risk of dehydration.

· Nutrients deficiencies.

Most rapid weight loss plans involve cutting back on eating certain foods such as carbs and proteins. Some people go to the extreme of cutting these foods out entirely or eating extremely tiny portions. But because the body needs nutrients from all the food groups to operate, cutting back on them drastically could result in nutrient deficiencies. 

· Loose skin.

Losing weight with quick-fix diets often gets rid of minimal fat but plenty of muscles. And because it usually doesn’t include strength workouts or any workouts at all, it results in a loose and saggy body. One is left with loose skin all over, and this can result in severe body image and self-esteem issues.

· Sudden heart attack.

The effects of starvation involved in rapid weight loss, coupled with dehydration, has been known to lead to sudden heart attacks and potential death.

Prevention is better than cure. Considering the risks mentioned above, one is safer following a plan which helps you lose weight slowly and steadily. Though you might not get instant gratification and quick results from such a plan, it will be beneficial and worth it in the long run.

Benefits of gradual weight loss.

1. Sustainability.

Slow weight loss ensures that you maintain a fast and efficient metabolism, which helps you lose weight steadily and maintain a healthy weight after.

2. It’s safe.

Losing weight gradually helps your body cope with lifestyle changes and adjust to the dietary changes to which it is subjected.

3. Prevents loss of muscles.

Losing weight steadily helps you get all the calories you need, and your body does not need to source for energy from muscle cells. This helps you lose fat and keep your muscles intact, which will result in a toned and firm body.

4. Keeps you energized.

Because losing weight slowly involves consuming all the necessary calories in moderation, your body gets all the nutrients it needs to perform. You’ll have enough energy to perform your daily tasks as well as work out.

5. You develop good habits

Possible the biggest benefit of all is that you will develop good eating and exercise habits that will have a longer lasting effect and you may not need to think about dieting ever again!

All things considered, losing weight slowly and steadily is the safer option and yields the best, sustainable results in the long run. It requires a lot of patience and sacrifice, but nothing good comes easy after all, right?

Good luck.