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Why Do You Eat? (2)

“Extra years to your age can be cheap by adopting the clean eating life style” —  Kathy Emiko.
1. How much red meat do you eat? How often are you eating red meat? A diet heavy in high protein, fatty, red meat can be hard on the digestive system. It can deplete nutrients, overwork the kidneys and liver; cause digestive problems and increase the proportion of harmful bacteria that live in your gut. Several studies link too much red meat to kidney stones, colon disorders, heart disease and constipation.

2.  Where are you eating? If you eat out a lot, are you choosing restaurants with good, healthy, quality food? Are you making healthy choices when ordering? For instance, are you opting for grilled fish instead of fried fish; water instead of diet soda or regular soda?

3. Do you exercise more than three times weekly? You need to move your body everyday. Exercise can boost energy in all kinds of ways. It increases circulation and by so doing, helps lower LDL (low density lipoproteins – bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (high density lipoproteins – good cholesterol).

Furthermore, exercise

*Can lower blood-sugar level and promotes insulin efficiency; fatigue is a system of blood sugar imbalance.
*Keeps bowels working efficiently to eliminate waste products your body doesn’t need and which can slow you down!
*Boosts immunity, which means you are less likely to get ill.
*Burns calories and builds up muscles. The more your muscles build up, the faster your metabolism becomes.
*Encourages a good night’s sleep.
*Improves sex life.

*Boosts mood through release of brain chemicals called endorphins.
4. Are you snacking healthy and regularly?

Regular healthy snacking, for example fruits, nuts, seeds or vegetable (carrots) – is the key to keeping your energy level high. It also helps you to maintain good mood. It also means that you don’t even feel hungry. If you stay more than three or four hours between meals or snacks, you’re more likely to crave unhealthy, high sugar foods because your blood sugar level is low and your stomach is empty.

5.  Are you eating enough fibre? Add fibre-rich foods to your diet like porridge, oats, fruit, seeds, vegetables, brown rice and brown beans. Fibre is the bran of grain, the cell walls of vegetables, and the pulp of fruits. In other words, it is the indigestible portion of these foods that improves intestinal function, helps to grow healthy bacteria in the gut and helps to prevent disease by ensuring the removal of waste products and toxins. It also ensures that digestion is healthy and helps maintain blood-sugar balance.

6. How much of your diet is dairy products? Dairy products are high in saturated fat, which can lead to weight gain and its associated problems if consumed in high quantities. If you want to take milk, take goat milk as cow milk is difficult for humans to digest; which is why so many people become lactose intolerant. Indigestibility can trigger allergy response, bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation, PMS, headaches, irritability, fatigue and weight problems.

7. Are you drinking too much alcohol? Alcohol stimulates your appetite and weakens your liver (your fat burning power house) and is full of sugar. The odd glass of wine here or there won’t hurt, but if weight loss is your goal, forget about it; until you reach your desired weight. It will be worth it.

8. What do you eat and when? Missing breakfast and fasting most of the day, then eating a large dinner in the evening sends your body confusing signals. First of all, during the day, when you are hardly eating, your body will slow down its metabolic race to conserve energy. Then, when you eat in the evening, your body is set up to store as much fat as possible. After eating so late, you often go to bed, so your body has little time to use up the calories you have just consumed. You need the energy, but not at night when activity levels are typically lower. In other words, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast and lunch and reduce your intake at the end of the day. If you are eating a big dinner after 8pm, then expect to feel sluggish in the morning and also gain weight.
9.  Is your energy low? To access energy, it’s crucial that your diet is rich in the nutrients your body needs to function optimally. Fatigue is often a symptom of blood sugar imbalances caused by poor eating habits, poor nutrients uptake and nutrient deficiencies. And if you are eating rubbish a lot of the time, you increase the  toxic load in your body, which results in even more fatigue.

Energy crash: Sugar binges when you feel low – a natural reaction to reach out for any kind of food – to give you energy boost. The problem is that all too often, those foods are bad fat, junky, sugary, foods that give you short-fuses of energy zaps, which are quickly followed by energy slumps and eventually weight gain.
10.  Are you stressing out?

Do you notice any of the following?
* Salt or sugar cravings
* Feeling bloated after eating, or digestive problems.
* Constant hunger
*  Emotional roller coaster e.g. depressed, anxious, crying, impatient, lack of concentration.
*  Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep
*  Can’t get out of bed in the morning
*  Is stress making you fat?
When you get stressed, your adrenal glands prompt the release of sugar stores in the blood stream, increasing the risk of blood-sugar problems that can trigger weight gain. That’s without eating anything sugary or fattening.
*Think about how you live your life and what kind of changes you could make to bring about a balance. Is most of your life devoted to work-related activities?
Are you exercising enough to sweat out your stress hormones? Getting some fun in your life is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

Dear Kathy,
Is it true that wine is good; even though it contains alcohol? I drink half a bottle of red wine daily, which is the only thing I drink apart from water and am still having issues with my weight.
Uche,  Anambra State.

Dear Uche,
Red wines are not bad but please “in moderation” and if you have issues with your weight, red wine is a big NO!
Heart disease rates are low in Mediterranean countries such as France and Italy, where wine consumption is high. The traditional Mediterranean diet certainly helps but the high anti-oxidant content of red wine probably has a significant effect in staving off coronary heart disease. But, no one recommends you to drink alcohol for health reasons. You can get all the anti-oxidants you need from fruits and vegetables and drinks like grape juice.


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