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Diet and Exercise: Sept' 14

Publish date: 19/09/2014

Tags: diet , exercise , fitness

Welcome to our Live Health Q&A. Please post your questions to our expert David Williams now!

Anonymous215 asked:

I've noticed (depressingly) that retaining tone and staying lean are harder the older I get, do you have any advice on whether I should be adapting what I do to improve this? At the moment, I'm running approx 3 times a week and resistance / weight training 2-3 times. Thank you...

David Williams answered:

May i ask how old are you?

David Williams answered:

Training is only one part of the puzzle. In order to remian "lean" nutrition intake and the diet you have is very important. Taking in the right foods in the correct portions is key to remaining lean. A diet that has mixture of seasonal fruit and vegetables, lean proteins (chicken, oily fish) and good fats (Omega 3, organic animal fats and unrefined oils) is important.

David Williams answered:

Avoid processed foods like ready meals and takeaways as much as possible. Also avoiding foods high in refined sugar like Cake, biscuits, sweets and crisps will help maintain a lean bodymass.  

Anonymous215 commented:

In my early 30's now, and definitely more of a struggle than in my 20's! I get a good amount of 'good' nutrition, but do fall for the occasional sweet treat which is probably my biggest downfall. Any tips for weaning myself off???

David Williams answered:

It depends what you class as occasional and depends how much of it you eat on these 'occasions'. My advice would be swapping refined sugars for natural ones (fruit gums to actual fruit) and swapping chocolate (milk) for a chocolate that is 85% + coca. You will find that the fruit his that sweet spot and the dark chocolate is very nice but you will struggle to eat more than a couple of squares of it. Moderation is key, sometimes having a little more will power helps too. Remind yourself of your goal and how resisting every now and then will help you achieve this goal.  

Anonymous215 commented:

What do you think about this fad for sugar detoxing? It goes against what I've always thought is okay, like eating portions of fruit - I can understand for refined sugars, but surely naturally-occurring ones are still okay? Are our bodies really cut out for no sugar?

David Williams answered:

I think fad diets for cutting out anything are not advisable. Cutting back on refined sugars is advisable as they are not natural. Natural sugars, in moderation are ok in my opinion. I would advise eating the whole of the fruit though, the skin on apples etc. as this provides a good source of fibre. Fruit and vegetables, where we obtain the majority of our natural sugars, are natural and in moderation (like everything) should be incorporated in a healthy balanced diet. 

David Williams answered:

In answer to the question of if the body is cut out for no sugar...... (sorry for the delay it took me a while to write)

All carbohydrates, whether sugars or starches, are digested in the intestine to form glucose, which is transported around the body via the blood and taken into cells to be converted into energy. The hormone insulin, secreted by the pancreas gland within the abdomen, controls this action of cell glucose uptake. Excess glucose is converted into glycogen, which is stored in the liver or in fat around the body. If the body needs more energy, a second hormone, glucagon, is secreted by the pancreas which converts the glycogen back into glucose. It is then released back into the bloodstream so that with the help of the insulin, the cells can take up the glucose to release the energy they need. The glucose or sugar metabolism of the body is a cycle of glucose, insulin and glucagon reactions. The slower the release of glucose and hormones, the more stable and sustainable the energy levels of the body. It is generally accepted that the more refined the carbohydrate, the faster the glucose will be released into the blood, resulting in less stable energy levels in the body. Complex carbohydrates provide a slower and more sustained release of energy than the simple carbohydrates.

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AXA PPP healthcare asked:

We've had a question from Facebook:

I hear so many different ways to keep fit I'm not sure which is the right one for me? Is there a sort of standard set of exercises I should do to keep fit?

David Williams answered:

The important thing with keeping fit is to enjoy it (as much as possible). If you like running, run. If you like playing tennis, play tennis. Not everyone likes or enjoys gym work or the routine of going from one exercise to another on weight machines. If you can combine keeping fit with something that you like doing then it is so much easier to do. The advised levels for exercise is to exceed 150 minutes per week. This should raise the heart rate above a resting level and should last for more than 10 minutes at a time. A brisk walk will acomplish this. However in order to improve your fitness levels you must look to improve on what you've already done. If you've wlaked for 10 minnutes and feel tired, next week aim for 12, then the week after 14. A measureable increase coupled with the monitoring of how you are feeling will help gauge an improvement in fitness levels. 

AXA PPP healthcare commented:

Thanks David, we'll pass that back!

AXA PPP healthcare asked:

One from Twitter here: 

Will being a vegetarian help me lose weight?

David Williams answered:

Not really no. Not eating meat/fish is a personal choice of many. However, this will not mean you will loose weight. If losing weight is something you want to do, i would agree with you having a look at your nutritional habits. What you need to do is assess how many calories you are currently eating (honestly) and see how reducing these calories (coupled with regular exercise) can help you loose weight. Remeber fat doesn't make you fat and the fats that are in meat and fish can be very beneficial to our body. Have a look at the refined sugars and excess carbohydrates in your diet. Things like sweet treats and processed meals, white processed carbohydrates like white bread, white pasts and white rice are likely to be the culprits of weight gain. Moderating these or even cutting these out will help you greatly in losing weight. 

Becs2 asked:

I'm currently in the process of  a lifestyle change and have been advised to drink moringa leaf tea as a replacement for normal tea. what are the benefits of this?

David Williams answered:

I drink moringa leaf tea myself and i think its great. It has huge nutritional benefits with diverse vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Best of all, these nutrients are readily available for your body to use because moringa leaf is a natural product and not processed in a lab. 

David Williams answered:

Moringa’s benefits are derived from the plant’s high concentration of bio-available nutrients. It contains high levels of Vitamin A (beta carotene), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) but to name a few.

Moringa is considered a complete food because it contains all of the essential amino acids required for a healthy body. Dried Moringa leaf tea is a nutritional powerhouse and contains lots of essential amino acids. These include isoleucine, leucine, Theronine and Tryptophan.

Becs2 commented:

That's great, thanks for your help

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Bertie asked:

I recently did a juice detox for a few days. And found it really worked for me. I now try and include a juice into my everyday diet (where i can) - is there any harm replacing a meal with a full juice? 

David Williams answered:

I take it when you say a juice diet, you are meaning fruit and veg? If this is the case and you are finding it works for you then keep it up. I actually do this myself, 99% of the time at breakfast as i find it allows me to take in so much vegetables that usually would be impossible to eat in the time i have to eat breakfast. If you look at the caloire content of a juice, you will find that this is somewhere between 200-300 kcal - the size of a typical breakfast. The nutritioanl content of this will usually far outweigh the typical breakfast as the vitamin and mineral content of the jucie will be greater than any breakfast cereal, slices of toast etc.

If this works for you then continue doing it. I find it has other benefits for me personally like added energy and keeps me feeling fuller for longer. I dont look at it as a meal replacement, i look at it as a different way to eat breakfast. This isnt a meal replacement shake or drink this is 100 % natural foods that are juiced to make it easier to eat and is a great way of getting natural vitamins and minerals into your diet.

Always consult a health professional before embarking on a lifestyle change as things that work for one do not always work for another.

Bertie commented:

Yes just fruit and veg, i often have one for lunch and sometimes a smoothie for breakfast too. Thanks for the advice :)

AXA PPP healthcare asked:

Another from Facebook:

Jon Nedhurst

I'm trying to gain better upper body muscles and definition. I've started doing weights and trying to eat right.

What foods shall I focus on to help with this?

David Williams commented:

Hi Jon. Focus on wholefoods. Complex carbohydrates like Wholemeal rice (avoid white) also lean proteins like chicken and fish like fresh (not tinned) salmon and tuna. A good mix of green vegetables (especially broccoli and kale). However, dont skip leg day! Compound exercises for the legs like weighted lunges, deadlifts and squats are fantastic for building muscle and core strength...... Also you'll look even better with good legs to go with that upper body definiton.

AXA PPP healthcare commented:

Thanks David, we'll post this back to them!

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