A Fat Belly is Bad for Your Heart Even You are Not Overweight

 

Belly fat, even in people who are not otherwise overweight, is bad for the heart, according to results from the Mayo Clinic presented today at EuroPrevent 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress.1

“See your doctor if your waist is bigger than your hips,” said study author Dr Jose Medina-Inojosa, from the division of Preventive Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and The International Clinical Research Centre of St. Anne’s University Hospital (FNUSA-ICRC), Brno, Czech Republic.

Body mass index (BMI), which is weight relative to height in kg/m2, is used to categorise adults as underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. However, BMI does not account for the amount and distribution of fat and muscle.

Central obesity is a store of excess fat around the middle of the body and is a marker of abnormal fat distribution. This study tested the hypothesis that people with normal weight and central obesity would have more heart problems than people with normal weight and normal fat distribution.

In 1997 to 2000 the study enrolled 1,692 residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, aged 45 years or older. The sample was representative of the county population for age and sex. Participants underwent a clinical examination and measurements were taken of weight, height, waist circumference and hip circumference. Central obesity was defined as a ratio dividing the waist circumference by the hip circumference of 0.90 or above for men and 0.85 or above for women.

Patients were followed-up from 2000 to 2016 for the occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) using linked medical records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project. MACE was defined as heart attack, surgical or percutaneous coronary revascularisation to open blocked arteries, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes.

Participants with a normal BMI (18.5–24.9 kg/m2) and central obesity had an approximately two-fold higher long-term risk of MACE compared to participants without central obesity, regardless of their BMI.

Dr Medina-Inojosa said: “People with a normal weight but a fat belly have more chance of heart problems than people without a fat belly, even if they are obese according to BMI. This body shape indicates a sedentary lifestyle, low muscle mass, and eating too many refined carbohydrates.”

“The belly is usually the first place we deposit fat, so people classified as overweight BMI but without a fat belly probably have more muscle which is good for health,” he continued. “Muscle is like a metabolic storehouse and helps decrease lipid and sugar levels in the blood.”

Participants with a normal BMI and central obesity also had a higher risk of MACE than overweight and obese participants with central obesity. Dr Medina-Inojosa said that overweight and obese people with central obesity might also have more muscle mass which could be protective.

He said: “If you have fat around your belly and it’s greater than the size of your hips, visit your doctor to assess your cardiovascular health and fat distribution. If you have central obesity the target will be waist loss rather than weight loss. Exercise more, decrease sedentary time by taking the stairs or getting off the train one stop early and walking, increase your muscle mass with strength and resistance training, and cut out refined carbohydrates.”

Dr Medina-Inojosa said it was important for doctors not to assume that people with a normal BMI are not at risk of heart problems or that their fat distribution is normal. He said: “Our study provides evidence that doctors should also measure central obesity to get a better picture of whether a patient is at risk.”

Source: European Society of Cardiology

Superfood chicken or vegan Guyanese dhal (lentil soup)that eats like a meal

  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Total time: 40 minutes, cook time: 30 minutes, prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for the base

Red lentils

  • 6-8 cups of water
  • For those who don’t want vegan, use 3 boneless chicken breasts, chopped or sliced, or whatever chicken you have in your fridge
  • 1.5 cups of red or yellow lentils
  • 1-2 cups of chopped spinach or kale
  • 1-2 cups of chopped broccoli or cauliflower
  • 1.5 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tomato
  • Salt to your taste
  • Optional: 1-3 habanero, wiri-wiri or chili peppers, omit the pepper if you don’t want it spicy. I use 3 habanero peppers because they’re hotter.

Additional optional ingredients

I’ve used a cup of leftover rice, asparagus, leftover chicken from a restaurant, whatever I need to finish in the fridge. It’s’ hard for me to include these in the recipe because it changes every week. So go crazy with your favorite ingredients!

Directions

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  1. If using chicken that’s not a leftover: Use 1 teaspoon of the curry powder, salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon each of the turmeric and cumin to marinate it in a baking dish and set it aside. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Rinse the lentils and set them aside.
  3. Chop the onion, garlic, tomato and peppers.
  4. Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil (can be done at the same time you are doing the above steps).
  5. Add the lentils, onion, garlic, tomato, peppers and olive oil to boiling water.
  6. Add spices and salt
  7. Turn the heat down to medium-high and boil lentils for 20 minutes.
  8. If using chicken: Put it in the oven to cook for 15 minutes or until cooked while the lentils are boiling. If your chicken is already cooked add it in during the next step to warm it up.
  9. Blend the soup with hand blender to achieve a smooth texture or partially smooth (I find it blends the flavors together better).  Return to a low boil and add the spinach and your other ingredients, including chicken if using it, for another 10 minutes.

lentils blending

I let it cool down for five minutes before I eat it.

Chicken: Approximate nutritional information for 1 serving (Based on brands and amounts used in the recipe)

dhal amped up
Dhal with chicken, rice and other other ingredients

Note: Your nutritional value may differ depending on what you use. When I’m eating it, I usually have 1.5 servings or 1 I’ve thrown rice in it.

  • Calories: 301 g
  • Fat: 9.2 g
  • Carbs: 20 g
  • Protein: 34 g

Vegan: Approximate nutritional information for 1 serving (Based on brands and amounts used in the recipe)

Dhal
Vegan version without rice

Note: Your nutritional value may differ depending on what you use. When I’m eating the vegan version for dinner I usually have 3 servings, or 1.5 if I’ve thrown rice in it.

  • Calories: 152 g
  • Fat: 6.2 g
  • Carbs: 20 g
  • Protein:  8 g

Thai-rific Gluten Free Spicy chicken or vegan noodle soup

  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Total time: one-half hour, cook time: 15 minutes, prep time: 10-15 minutes

Notes:

  1. I use less of the noodles and more veggies and chicken or tofu to cut down on carbs because vermicelli noodles are low in fiber and protein.
  2. The reasons for using pepper is for stress and weight management, if you cannot handle spice, you can take a mild pepper and add some strained tomato until it’s mild enough

Ingredients

  • 180 g (1 cup) of vermicelli rice noodles
  • 540 g (a little over 2 cups) of chicken breast or extra-firm tofu cubed or cut into strips
  • 3 chili peppers of your choice, like wiri wiri, habanero, scotch bonnet, jalapeno (banana peppers have no spice). See note number two above if mild may also be too hot for you
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, homemade or a low-sodium gluten-free brand
  • 3 cups of capsicum (any color, or a variation), chopped or sliced
  • 1 cup of carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1 cup of green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of corriander, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for chicken

Thai chicken noodle soup

  1.  Wash the chicken and cut it into cubes or strips when dry.
  2. Grate the ginger.
  3. Cut the capsicum, chili, carrots and mushrooms.
  4. Finely dice the garlic, onion and cilantro.
  5. Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of lime juice and 1 and a half teaspoons of the curry powder for 1 hour (or longer) or a minimum of 15 minutes.
  6. Boil the chicken stock in a pot and then turn down to medium-high.
  7. In the pot, stir in the coconut milk, remaining oil and curry powder.
  8. Next, add in the chicken, the chili, salt, pepper, garlic, mushrooms, peppers and carrots, and cook for around 10 minutes.
  9. Add in 1/4 cup of the coriander and most of the green onion and cook for a few minutes.
  10. Cook the noodles in a separate pot according to the package directions (usually 5 minutes). Drain and rinse with hot water.
  11. Place everything in bowls and toss with more chili pepper, salt and pepper if needed.
  12. Top with the remaining parsley, green onion, and the peppers and bean sprouts if using.

Directions for tofu

Thai chicken noodle soup

  1. Drain and pat the tofu dry.
  2. Grate the ginger.
  3. Cut the bell peppers, chili, carrots and mushrooms.
  4. Finely dice the garlic, onion and cilantro.
  5. Marinate the tofu with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of lime juice and 1 and a half teaspoons of the curry powder for 1 hour (or longer) or a minimum of 15 minutes.
  6. Boil the vegetable stock in a pot and then turn down to medium-high.
  7. In the pot, stir in the coconut milk, remaining oil and curry powder.
  8. Next, add in the tofu, the chili, salt, pepper, garlic, mushrooms, peppers and carrots, and cook for around 10 minutes.
  9. Add in 1/4 cup of the coriander and most of the green onion and cook for a few minutes.
  10. Cook the noodles in a separate pot according to the package directions (usually 5 minutes). Drain and rinse with hot water.
  11. Place everything in bowls and toss with more chili pepper, salt and pepper if needed.
  12. Top with the remaining parsley, green onion, and the peppers and bean sprouts if using.

Chicken: Approximate nutritional information for 1 serving (Based on brands and amounts used in the recipe)

  • Calories: 384 g
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Carbs: 37 g
  • Protein: 34 g

Tofu: Approximate Nutritional information for 1 serving (Based on brands and amounts used in the recipe)

  • Calories: 375 g
  • Fat: 12.4 g
  • Carbs: 49 g
  • Protein: 29 g

 

Apple Spinach Smoothie Bowl

Personally, I’m a fan of apples that are sweet. Sour apples take me longer to eat, and mixing them with other unsweet things, would take me forever to finish. But, I like to experiment with food and figure out combinations that work. So, the surprise in this bowl (to me) is it was delicious – an enjoyable blend of healthy greens and the right apples.

  • Makes: 2 servings
  • Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

spinach

  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1-2 sweet or semi sweet red apples or a combination of both, peeled and cut into squares (McIntosh, Red Delicious, Snow or Honeycrisp are all good)
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of vegan protein powder

Toppings of your choice. These are the ones I used:

shaved coconut

  • 1 kiwi cut in half
  • Handful or tablespoon of shaved, slivered or chopped coconut
  • Handful of Blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons of maize seeds of if you’re not vegan, bee pollen

Directions

Add all ingredients minus toppings into a blender and puree until smooth. Add toppings and enjoy!

Approximate nutrition information for one serving size (Based on brands and amounts used in this recipe)

  • Calories: 442 (without toppings: 264)
  • Fat:  6.5g (without toppings: 2.5g)
  • Carbohydrates: 58g (without toppings: 35g)
  • Protein: 24g (without toppings: 33g)

Holistic Living

A lot of people think that the holistic approach to life is nothing more than woo-woo mumbo jumbo, others think that it is taking a spiritual approach to life and others, others like me, think that it is simply a better way of living on your own terms, being aware of your own actions and doing whatever works for you to live an optimum life.

If you believe that everything we eat, think, practice and believe has a huge impact on your life and the lives of others, it makes sense to like at your life holistically, taking care of your mind, body and soul so that you can live a truly beautiful, happy and healthy life.

Sound good? Here’s what you can do to start living holistically:

Eat a Clean Diet

If you want to take care of your body and your mind, then a diet that is low in toxins and junk food and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats makes imminent sense. These kinds of foods will fuel your body and feed your brain so that you are able to function optimally.

Slow Down

We undoubtedly live in a fast-paced world, but is it really a coincidence that so many more people are suffering from fatigue, anxiety, stress, depression and a whole host of similar conditions? I doubt it! We all do so much so fast that we have very little time to just be. If you want to live a more holistic life, you need to change that. So, cross a few unnecessary things off your schedule and replace them with things you love like reading a good book, hiking somewhere beautiful or simply spending time with good friends and family.

Connect More

Connecting with other people who are also interested in living holistically – maybe at a yoga class or a local music festival, even in a Facebook group – is a great way to learn more about the experience of life and how to live optimally and make some very good friends.

As well as connecting to other like-minded people, forming connections with animals and the universe will make you feel less alone, more in the flow and happier than the average person who spends more time playing games on their phone than talking to people or enjoying the natural world.

Move Your Body

Moving your body is a basic way to feel more alive and to maintain a healthy body. Exercises like yoga and tai chi which engage both body and mind are best from a holistic point of view. However, any activity that gets you moving which you enjoy will lift your spirits and benefit your body.

Taking care of every part of your life as a human being is the only way to feel truly happy, healthy and at peace, So, do something about it, by living more holistically today – it’ll change your life.  How do you live your life? Any thoughts? What are your tips? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.

Until next time, shine amongst the stars!

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How Much Protein Should You Eat?

Smoothies, shakes, supplements: There’s no shortage of products that come with promises to boost your protein intake. But do you really need that extra protein?

“I think a lot of people feel pressured by all the marketing out there, making them feel like their diet is protein-deficient,” says Douglas Paddon-Jones, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition and metabolism at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Before you start eating extra steak or mixing protein powder into your smoothies, it’s important to assess what your protein requirements actually are and the best ways to get the right amount.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Protein is the building block for most of our cells; dietary protein helps us build muscle and maintain healthy bones. It also boosts energy and helps us feel full.

According to the Dietary Reference Intakes from the USDA, most people need about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So someone who weighs 150 pounds would need about 60 grams of protein each day. (For a more individualized estimate of how much protein you need, you can enter your height, weight, and age into the USDA’s calculator.)

Considering that one 170g skinless, cooked chicken breast contains 54 grams of protein, achieving the recommended daily intake isn’t a high hurdle for most. Despite the crowded market for protein supplements and all the manufacturers touting the high protein content in their products, “most of us are already getting an adequate amount in our diet,” says Paddon-Jones.

Certain people, such as very strict vegans and those who lack access to healthy food in general, may have a harder time hitting those modest goals. (See “What Are the Best Protein Sources?” below for ideas on how to get more.)

Who Needs Extra Protein?

If you’re trying to build muscle mass or you’re a serious athlete, your daily protein needs can be up to double the average. Paddon-Jones cautions that this doesn’t really apply to someone who hits the gym a few times each week. “We’re talking about a small group of people who are working their bodies hard, every day,” he says.

Dieters also sometimes increase their protein intake in order to achieve a feeling of fullness without adding the empty calories of, say, refined carbohydrates. If you’re trying to lose weight, research suggests that aiming for 0.7 grams of daily protein for every pound you weigh might help.

After age 60, getting at least 0.6 grams per pound daily can help prevent age-related muscle loss, or sarcopenia, which increases the risk of disability.

If you have certain medical concerns—you’re recovering from broken bones or a severe burn, for example—your doctor may advise you to up your protein intake. The nutrient could help with regrowth and cell generation, and might speed the healing process.

What Are the Best Protein Sources?

Animal proteins are often touted as “complete proteins” because they contain all eight amino acids—which assist in healthy metabolism and body function—that your body doesn’t produce on its own. Plant-based protein sources lack some of these acids, but you can mix and match (e.g., combining brown rice and beans, or putting peanut butter on whole-grain bread) to make a complete protein.

Paddon-Jones says you shouldn’t spend too much time fretting that your protein sources are incomplete; it’s more important to eat a generally balanced diet. “If you’re getting your protein from spinach and beans, you’re getting all sorts of great nutrients that more than compensate for any lacking amino acids,” he says.

In general, shoot for a diet that includes a variety of protein sources, such as lean meat, seafood, eggs, yogurt, tofu, quinoa, nuts, and beans. These types of whole foods aren’t just good sources of protein; they’re also rich in vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients.

Federal dietary guidelines show that Americans—particularly men and teenage boys—get most of their protein from meat, poultry, and eggs. “It’s always smart to aim for a variety of nutrient sources in your diet,” says Maxine Siegel, R.D., who heads CR’s food-testing lab.

In general, avoid using protein supplements and shakes. Though protein-packed meal-replacement shakes can seem convenient, they’re often packed with unwanted sugars and other additives, and they generally lack the key nutrients you get from whole foods. And independent testing has shown that some protein products contain high amounts of arsenic, cadmium, and other dangerous heavy metals.

Can You Overdo It?

Research has shown that the body has a limited capacity to process large amounts of protein all at once. One study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that someone who ingests 90 grams of protein in a meal gets roughly the same benefits as someone who ingests 30 grams.

It’s better to space out your protein intake over the course of the day in order for your body to use it all effectively. Start with, say, yogurt or eggs in the morning, get some tuna for lunch, then move onto a lean meat at dinner. You can supplement throughout the day with smart protein snacks like hummus and veggies or peanut butter on crackers or sliced apples.

For most healthy adults, there isn’t a significant danger to getting more than the recommended amount of protein naturally in your diet.

“Unless you’re [genetically predisposed to] kidney issues such as advanced type 2 diabetes and kidney disease, there are few established health risks of ingesting too much protein,” says Jamie Baum, Ph.D., an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Arkansas.

Some research has shown potentially adverse effects of excess protein intake, such as straining the kidneys and the liver. But that’s generally only among people who are upping their intake with supplements. And if your protein is coming predominantly from animal sources, you could face corollary risks associated with high-meat diets, such as higher rates of coronary heart disease.

“As with so much else in diet and nutrition, the key to healthy protein intake is balance and moderation,” says Siegel.

Source: Consumer Reports

Crispy Chicken and Lettuce Wraps

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 small green apple, diced (unpeeled)
  • 1/4 cup diced red capsicum
  • 1/4 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (approximately 100 each), cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small head of lettuce (4-5 leaves)

Directions
In a bowl, combine all ingredients except for the lettuce. Chill for 1 hour. Place the chicken mixture inside each lettuce leaf, roll into cylinders and serve.

Do You Shop With Your Gut in the Grocery Aisle?

National Survey of more than 2,000 Dietitians Reveals Movement Toward Clean, Natural and Simple with Surprising Predictions for Superfoods in 2018

In its sixth year, with a record-breaking 2,050 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) responding, the Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian’s “What’s Trending in Nutrition” national survey once again exposes what RDNs predict consumers are thinking and eating. In a surprising switch, fermented foods – like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, some pickles, kimchi and miso – ousted seeds as the No. 1 superfood for 2018, making it clear that consumers will be “going with their gut” in the coming year by seeking out foods that improve gut health and overall well-being.

“RDNs stay ahead of the trends because they are dedicated to listening and responding to what consumers are looking for when making food choices,” explains Mara Honicker, publisher of Today’s Dietitian. “Our readers stay current on what consumers are thinking as much as they do nutritional science.”

Top 10 Superfoods for 2018

What’s changed for next year is the rise of “fermented foods” to the top spot. Surprising, but true, RDNs predict fermented foods will be highly sought by consumers in 2018. While widely known as the process used for making wine or beer, fermentation is a natural, metabolic process that involves using sugar to create compounds like organic acids, alcohols and gases. Fermented foods may have powerful health benefits from boosting gut health to blunting inflammation. The rest of the rankings included:

  1. Fermented foods, like yogurt
  2. Avocado
  3. Seeds
  4. Nuts
  5. Green tea
  6. Ancient grains
  7. Kale
  8. Exotic fruits
  9. Coconut products
  10. Salmon

The Future is Here

In 2012, “What’s Trending in Nutrition”predicted that consumers would move toward “natural, less processed foods” (according to 72% of respondents). This national sample of RDNs forecasted that consumers were trending toward “simple ingredients” and a greater focus on “plants.” Move forward to today, and their projections have come to fruition as top diets for 2018. Coined, “clean eating” and “plant-based diets,” consumers are demanding foods and products that fit this way of life.

Diets Over Time

After “clean eating” and “plant-based diets,” first-timer, the “ketogenic diet” has made its way to the top as No. 3. This high-fat, generous-protein, barely-any-carb diet designed to produce ketone bodies for energy debuted with a high ranking. Interestingly, in 2013, RDNs felt that the trend in the “low carb diet” had declined. Then a year later, there was a rise in Paleo, Wheat Belly and Gluten-Free. Now, RDNs rank “Wheat Belly” as one of the diets on its way out and ketogenic has overtaken Paleo. Given the popularity of the high-fat ketogenic diet, it makes sense that the “low fat” diet was also ranked as a has-been.

“The movement toward clean eating reflects a change in how consumers view food,” notes Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, SVP of Pollock Communications. “Consumers are searching for nutrition information and equating diet with overall well-being.” As an example, Bell points out that the quick rise of fermented foods in the top 10 superfood list shows that consumers have expanded their definition of wellness to include benefits like gut health. “It also suggests that consumers are digging deeper for information about the food they eat and in this instance, finding out why yogurt, kefir or kimchi is so good for them!”

Fake News?

Over the years, the “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey has captured the RDN perspective on where, how and from whom, consumers are getting their nutrition advice – good and bad. Since 2013, RDNs have acknowledged the power of social media, blogs, websites and celebs on nutrition decisions and the dissemination of misinformation. In 2014, celebrity doctors made their mark in the minds of consumers and RDNs ranked them as a growing provider of nutrition info. In the upcoming year, RDNs take aim and name Facebook as the No. 1 source of nutrition misinformation for consumers, followed by websites and blogs/vlogs.

Through the Years, We All Will Be Together

RDNs continue to recognize that consumers rank taste, cost, convenience and healthfulness as most important in the supermarket. And, the RDN messages remain consistent: MyPlate is the gold standard for helping consumers eat right (79% use it to educate) and it’s best to make small changes, focus on the overall eating pattern (not a single food or nutrient) and make gradual shifts over time. The RDNs top recommendations for 2018 are to limit highly processed foods, increase fiber intake, keep a food journal and choose non-caloric beverages such as unsweetened tea or coffee.

“The annual forecast from the ‘What’s Trending in Nutrition’ national survey shows how consumers are driving change and leading the evolution of diet and nutrition trends,” explains Louise Pollock, President and founder of Pollock Communications. “As they do each year, the unique perspective of RDNs provides media, retailers and food manufacturers a view into the minds of consumers that can help inform their business.”

Source: Pollock Communications

Intermittent Fasting

We are super excited to reveal that we have  incorporated a fasting protocol into our 4 week program at www.4weekfatflush.com as well as some new super easy recipes for the first few weeks to make the transition as easy as possible for the whole family.

I intermittent fast pretty much every single day, and find it a very natural approach, which is what a paleo (low carb, healthy fat or ketogenic) lifestyle promotes, as once you are fat adapted, you stop the hunger cravings for food, as you are supplying the body its key nutrients in the most natural way, which in turn makes this way of eating cheaper and quicker.

The whole notion of 3 small meals throughout the day and snacking in between (recommendation of the Dietitians Association of Australia) is not based on evolutionary science but created to help the multinational food industry stay in business by keeping the population craving carbs and not being able to maintain a healthy weight or to stay healthy.

These days I generally eat 2 good meals a day and sometimes just one depending on how I feel (I eat when I am hungry.)  The other thing to consider, is the more exercise you do, the more you generally want to eat. Which is why we provide a at home fitness plan, when your body adapts and you have the energy, then you can increase your activity do the activities/exercises that make you happy including some resistance exercises and running (see bottom of post for who intermittent fasting may not be suitable for and to always consult with your health professional prior.)

Here is a little information from the recipes/meal planning area of the program.

Your Week 1 Meal Plan

Our suggested meal plans have been designed to be easy and affordable for all, whilst also considering that many of us live in differing regions with differing accessibility.

You will have access to your meal plan as soon as you join to enable you to purchase the required ingredients at your local supermarket, butcher, health food shop or farmers market. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous in your cooking and experiment with your new way of cooking

Fasting

Fasting is the ultimate way to limit and help control the body’s insulin production. The latest scientific research suggests that fasting could play a part in the prevention of many conditions, especially obesity and type 2 diabetes. New research suggests that restricting the number of insulin-spiking carbohydrates and excess protein, by intermittent fasting, is one of the best ways we can live a healthy life. It’s only in the last 50 years that fasting has stopped being used as a healing modality in the western world, but it’s free and easy. All you need is a little bit of information to get going.

What fasting does is stop the body from needing to produce insulin for the period of the fast. By fasting intermittently, we are able to normalise our blood-sugar levels and lose weight. Fasting teaches our body to produce only the insulin it needs to function – something our bodies do naturally, unless the process is disrupted by too many starchy and sugary foods.

A low-carb lifestyle works in a similar way, offering an impressive 70 per cent of the insulin-lowering ability of fasting. Used in tandem, the two are very effective: a low-carb diet makes fasting easier. Because you’ve already turned on your fat-burning switch, fasting enables your body to get the maximum benefits from eating in this way. Several programs pairing fasting with a low-carb lifestyle have had success with helping people with metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, manage their condition more effectively.

If you choose to fast, it can be either breakfast or dinner;

If you want to fast at breakfast, eat your evening meal before 6pm and delay your first meal of the next day until 10am, so you fast for a period of 16 hours overnight. This can be done daily as there are no negative health consequences to eating only during eight hours of the day. If you don’t think you can skip breakfast entirely, then try one of our bone broths or fat smoothies instead.

If you find that you get hungry in the morning, try fasting at dinner. Make yourself some breakfast, have a late lunch and then skip dinner.
If you are comfortable with intermittent fasting then adopt it for the whole 4 weeks of the program.

Of course, it’s best to work with your healthcare professional to find a way of fasting that’s right for you, especially if you take regular medication. Note that fasting is not recommended for babies, children, teenagers, elderly people, pregnant or breast feeding women, type 1 diabetics or those with hypoglycaemia.

To join the 4 Week Fat Flush go to www.4weekfatflush.com/the-program