It’s one of the most popular tools used in clinical practice and apparently schools are now sending letters home to parents if their child is tracking at a higher percentile (!) But is this a good tool?
For those unfamiliar with BMI, it is calculated by dividing your weight (kg) by the square of your height (m). The number given will then fall into a category - Underweight, Normal Weight, Overweight, Obese.
The limitations of this approach however are somewhat obvious, for example, we know muscle weighs more than fat, and therefore a sports person could be classified as overweight/obese according to this scale just due to their muscle/fat ratio. Also it doesn’t tell us the distributions of body fat, to assess whether it is therefore harmful to health.
The reason we started using this tool was to monitor trends in population over time, not actually as a measure of ‘health’ however it would appear that it is now being used to decide if people are he...
Intuative Eating - Principle 1 - Reject The 'Diet' Mentality.
I want to take you through the Intuative Eating process, as mentioned in my Happy New Year post, dieting can lead to lots of different negative health consequences and in general is ineffective.
A lot of these 'diets' that pop up here, there and everywhere usually require a huge amount of discipline, restriction, restraint, time, rigidity, social exclusion and when they inevitably fail, place blame upon the individual and their lack of 'will power', however ultimately their difficulty in sustainability is due to these reasons.
So is the solution to all of this Intuative Eating? A way of eating that doesn't focus on weight, an individual learns to eat in accordance to their innate physiological hunger and satiety cues and from new areas of research show to have helped address some potential problematic eating behaviours.
So what does 'Reject the diet mentality' mean?
This is an approach that requires putting health on the back bur...
FOOD ADDICTION - Can you really be addicted to food?
There’s always a lot of chat amongst people about how they’re ‘addicted’ to a certain food, therefore.. they must cut it out! Media and research speculation has not helped this idea of food addiction, especially with the region in the brain linked with the reward system is also involved in the process of substance abuse. However there’s lots of reasons, aside from addiction that can explain why we receive the rewards response from eating.
🍑 Human Survival - the brain reward system is necessary to ensure survival. This involves the brain chemical dopamine which triggers a pleasurable response and motivation behaviour. Other behaviours such as hugging, intimacy, terms of endearment also trigger this same rewarding feeling. We need the response to ensure we continue to eat to survive!
🥑 Hunger Enhances Reward Value - if you’re hungry, your reward value of food is heightened. For example you may feel more excited for cooking, or intereste...
It's something that I get asked about a lot, should I be taking supplements? Will they improve my performance? Will they make me feel better?
It seems to be an ever growing market, with huge stores dedicated to just selling the stuff, but how do you decide if you should be taking something and if so, what should you be taking?
Let me start by saying this is an overview of how to decide to take a supplement - I am a) not saying you 100% should be taking anything and b) everyone is completely different, you all take part in different sports and eat different diets.
So in terms of supplements, what are they? The purpose of supplements are exactly as the name suggests, they are there to 'supplement' the normal diet, in order to improve general health and wellbeing. There are a HUGE range on the market which all claim to do/improve various different things such as:
The concept of periodization when it come to a training program is well known and well applied within sport. The link between exercise and nutrition is also well known. However the concept of using the periodization model within nutritional practice appears to be very uncommon.
There is of course a lot of research and advice on nutrition to consume pre/post training, however consideration of the bigger, long term picture in regards to specific goals, physiological adaptations during different phases of training, is rarely put into practice-so much in fact that guidelines for practitioners are still lacking.
So what is periodization? When applied to exercise it is the long-term planning of athletic training designed to improve performance, reaching peak performance for the most ‘competitive’ part of the year (This might be a particular race, game or competition). It involves a variation of training throughout the year, variation of intensities and load and is typically broken down into c...
It gets to about the same time every year when people feel like they need to 'diet' to get in shape for summer/holiday. Yet these are the same 'diets' that are being promoted year on year... juicing/carb cutting/whole 30/calorie counting/5:2... etc. There is a reason they're heavily marketed and you have to do them every year for your 'summer bod' and do you know why? Because they're not sustainable.
Yes you might lose weight and feel great for a few weeks/months, however majority of people who lose all this weight in such a short space of time when dieting for their summer bodies put the weight straight back on. There is in fact a statistic that found 95% of people will in fact regain all the weight they lost in a year.
So why is that?
There is a lot of science behind dieting and how it can play havoc with your metabolism and your overall health, let alone your sanity. With so many rules and regulations around food it can become exhausting.
Firstly - when you attempt to lose weight, your...
I hear a lot of people talk about starting a diet or wanting to lose weight and their immediate first thoughts are 'I'm going to cut out carbohydrates' OR 'I'm going to stop eating bread'. As that is supposedly the reason behind weight gain.
This photo shows a comparison between 2 different types of carbohydrates - a banana and a slice of bread. As you can see, a banana actually has a higher carbohydrate content than bread, and also a higher sugar content - yet when people decide to embark on a diet, bread will be eliminated, yet banana/fruit consumption won't. That isn't to say bananas need to be eliminated too, it is to highlight how to help you make an informed choice. Fruit and vegetables are also carbohydrates.
Both bread and fruit are high in fibre and can therefore both help to contribute towards weight loss. But as carbohydrates, bread and fruit (not specifically a banana) are not the same in their composition. There are 2 types of carbohydrates - Simple & Complex which BOTH have...
I have decided to write a slightly different post today to my usual Sport Nutrition.
I have spent the last 6 weeks working at a clinic for girls suffering with eating disorders and it has really got me thinking about eating intuitively, what does being intuitive actually mean...as ultimately in regards to food and our relationship with food, is that one of the goals we thrive to achieve?
It has had me thinking about whether I'm 100% intuitive? How intuitive are all the clients I work with that don't have eating disorders? and how intuitive are all those 'foodie' people on Instagram?
I've decided to therefore list some contributing factors that I feel most affect being able to use the term 'intuitive eating' for you to look through and see if any apply to you.
Are you eating because you're hungry? Have you actually taken a minute to think about how your body feels before you eat a meal, or are you eating out of habit or because it's the 'right time' for lunch for example? Yes,...
Dietary fibre provides a whole host of benefits to our health and studies have shown it to prevent against several diseases. In 2015, the Government set new guidelines for the recommended intake of dietary fibre we should consume daily to 30g (previously 18g) for adults.
According to research many people aren't consuming near this figure, so I wanted to show what 30g of fibre looks like in food forms. If you're only consuming 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), that means getting 10g of fibre per meal. Here are a couple of options for each meal where that is easily achievable:
1/2 cup of porridge oats (2g)
with a medium chopped pear (5.5g)
+ spoonful of chia seeds (5.5g) OR 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds (3.8g)
Gut Health has had a growing amount of attention recently, discussing it's impact on our overall health, as well as a spectrum of diseases an unhealthy gut can cause. I wanted to touch on this and elaborate on the importance of a healthy gut for athletes and their performance.
Our gut is probably one of our most important organs in the body, it is the long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. It Is involved in the initial processing of food (once entered from the mouth), to the storage, absorption, digestion and then the passing of food as faeces.
So why is it of importance in our health?
So you might have heard about good and bad bacteria and probably wondered where it comes from, how does it all work, what's good and what's bad...etc, etc.
Our Gut is inhabited by roughly 100 trillion microorganisms. Microorganisms can be divided into lots of different 'types', and one of these is bacteria. The gut contains 10 times the amount of bacteria than all the human cells...