Blog Archives

Best Exercise for Fat Burn

Best-exercise-for-fat-burn

Burning fat the wrong way will never last.

Exercise and fat burn go hand in hand right? Well that’s what is commonly believed… So what’s the best exercise for fat burn? Well experience has taught us that, in the end, exercise doesn’t have that much to do with fat loss or fat burn (and yes, you may wish to rewind and re-read that sentence)!  We watched a show last night on television “Fat Families” (read: Fat Families review) have you seen it?  Shows like this and the biggest loser (do you remember that one – yes the one where Anne Diamond snuck off and had a gastric band fitted) convince us that the way to fat loss is to exercise more and eat less also known as starvation.  Exercise is used to create an even larger deficit in calories combined with a diet where calorie intake has been reduced to minimal levels.  This is starvation (and yes I wrote this twice).

Our bodies panic when we starve them causing STRESS: that is, elevated cortisol levels.  Our bodies wants us in balance (homeostasis) and are genetically programmed to achieve this.  When stress levels rise our bodies throw everything at the stressors to bring it back into balance.  Er…..sugary drink anyone?

So, it you want temporary fat burn with lot of stress and starvation, don’t go paleo! If you want temporary fat loss with lots of stress and starvation, eat less and exercise more (conventional wisdom). If you still believe in the calories in calories out rubbish then go visit your local dietician or sign up to weight watchers, slimming world and the like who will be happy to place you on one of their programs. It is likely you will also be advised about the best exercise for fat burn. Then sit back and watch the fat bounce back making all that restriction utterly pointless…

Exercise has this fantastic potential to improve our health and wellbeing and our mental and emotional health but in the end, poor diet will always win because of the stress factor and the consequences. For example: exercise might help you fight your depression but your fantastic potential is compromised if you are eating a low fat diet. You see natural dietary fat along with protein are the fundamental building blocks of optimal health. Exercise might help you feel alive and connected but this will be temporary if massive swings in your blood sugar levels are knocking you down between meals.

Nutrition is the key.  Choose well as if your quality of  life and your future depended on it….because it does!

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive” 

Joseph-Cambell

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987

How To Diet: Emma’s Paleo Journey

After-paleo-diet-image

Emma Now - Leaner, happier and in optimal health

A Life Changing Experience:

Before-paleo-diet-picture

Before Paleo

I started the Paleo way of eating/life February 2011, 9 months ago. My health wasn’t good, I was exhausted and felt bloated and sick most of the time. I had followed many of the so-called ‘healthy’ diets in my life, and had been particularly seduced by a well-known low fat diet in the mid 90s, which in resulted in me eating tons of carbs such as cereal, bagels, bread and beans that I ended up desperately trying to burn off through long runs each day.

I started to put on weight on this diet, and found it almost impossible to control the amount of food I was eating. I became addicted to eating breakfast cereal, and it started to form the basis of nearly all of my meals during my first year at university. I developed IBS after several months on this low fat diet, which was so bad, it affected my attendance at university. I became so exhausted and depressed, I eventually went to a specialist, who diagnosed me with ME.

Before-paleo-image-emma

Before Paleo

Although I achieved some remission from ME after seeing a nutritionist who advised me to cut out sugar and junk for a while, my real health breakthroughs have come through following a paleo/primal way of eating. I was sceptical when my brother-in-law fitness instructor discussed some of the benefits of following a way of eating that included animal fats and coconut oil. Like many people, I had been fully brainwashed into thinking that these foods were unhealthy as they contained saturated fats.  However, after hitting yet another brick wall with my health, where I was having problems conceiving, had polycystic ovaries, and was gaining weight rapidly, I felt I was running out of options. I went to a ‘functional nutritionist’ who ran some tests showing me the extent of my health problems. I remember being shocked when he said that my body was having a ‘health crisis’, and if I had carried on eating what I was eating, I could end up with some serious health problems. The tests showed I had a parasite in my gut, my hormones were out of sync (estradiol and testosterone too high, progesterone too low). He also suspected that I had become insulin resistant. He explained that my hormones had probably been affected by my years of following a low fat diet, as they need fat to remain balanced. He put me on an eating programme that was in line with the Paleo/Primal guidelines.  Although it’s not hard to follow, it took me a while to re-programme my thinking and allow myself to eat fat again without guilt. I also had to get used to not eating sugar, grains and cereals; the foods I have been consuming in huge quantities all of my adult life.

So, 9 months into the Paleolifestyle change, I have lost 2 ½ stone, am no longer bloated after eating, no longer have a parasite, my progesterone is now within  the normal range and I have so much more energy to do things I’ve wanted to do for years in my life. I come back from work in the evenings with plenty of energy to work and play in the evenings. I feel fuller than I have for years, and enjoy the most delicious, rich food that is full of fat to help my body keep my hormones balanced.

After-paleo-emma-celebrating

Loving Life

People at work can’t believe I’ve lost weight eating the amount of fat I have in my food! I lost the weight at a slow, steady pace and reached an equilibrium for several months, but I wasn’t bothered; this was not just about my figure, this was about me reclaiming my life back and supporting my body to heal itself from the damage I had caused it through poor lifestyle choices. Anyway, my body has started shedding excess fat again and I’ve recently lost another 4 pounds. I never thought it was possible to have vibrant, optimal health without feeling deprived, but now I do:

Paleo Rocks!

%d bloggers like this: