Wednesday 17 December 2014

Karl Henry: How to make your body work for you

EVERYBODY is searching for the next big diet: the next starvation method to deliver short-term results. The reality is that real health and weight loss is staring you in the face.

Your body, when utilised properly, is a weight loss machine that will work hard to reduce body fat, increase lean tissue and become healthier.

I'm going to tell you how to rev up your metabolism and regulate your appetite, and share the trade secrets that will help you stay healthy for life.

 Supercharge your system and make your body work for you.

The Meal of Champions

If you want your body to work for you, you have to fuel it. Think of your metabolism as a furnace that must be kept stoked. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it fires up the furnace and turns your body into a fat-burning machine for the rest of the day. Skip breakfast and you will burn less calories during the day, you will be cranky, you will eat more and feel less motivated. Ideally choose organic porridge oats or eggs and wholemeal bread at breakfast time and, as a rule, aim to eat most of your carbs at breakfast and fewer as the day progresses.

Slow down

Irish people tend to eat too quickly, without adequately chewing their food. Hence the body has to do extra work to break it down, and absorbs fewer nutrients in the process. You should aim to chew your food for 30 seconds. Studies show that those who take more time to masticate their food have less of the ‘hunger hormone' ghrelin circulating in their digestive systems. The simplest way to do this is to put down your knife and fork between each mouthful and let your teeth and jaw do what they were designed |to do. You will |also reduce stomach bloating, improve digestion and gain more energy.

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Thirst v Hunger

The hypothalamus is the area of the brain that regulates bodily signals, including thirst and hunger. This means that we can often confuse thirst for hunger when we're not adequately hydrated. Always have a glass of water at the first sign of hunger. Better still, aim to drink two to three litres a day, starting with lemon and hot water in the morning to flush out toxins.

The Stress/Belly Fat Connection

Stress causes the body to produce a hormone called cortisol, which can also promote fat storage, often around the stomach area. Combine this with the natural ageing process, which lowers your metabolism and increases your fat content, and it's easy to see why middle-age and a wider mid-section go hand-in-hand. Many associate ‘chilling out' with indulgence. The truth is that by relaxing the mind you will |naturally increase your ability to get that waist back. Try turning off your phone for an hour a day, going for a 20-minute walk in the evening or practising yoga or meditation.

In the Bedroom

The aforementioned hypothalamus, which regulates hunger and thirst, also regulates sexual satisfaction. Sex increases your cardiovascular fitness, improves circulation, increases blood flow and, most importantly, releases a host of hormones, some of which play a part in regulating your appetite, specifically carbohydrate cravings. A healthy sex life plays its part in a healthy body.

Short, Sharp Bursts

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