Thursday, January 21, 2016

You Are What You Eat!

Though the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ has been around for ages – appearing in English in adverts during the 1930s, and was the title for nutritionist Victor Lindlahr’s seminal work, You Are What You Eat: how to win and keep health with diet – it’s nutritionist Gillian McKeith’s series on Channel 4 that most people identify with today.

The you are what you eat principle is as simple as it sounds – if you fuel your body with junk, it will perform accordingly. The You Are What You Eat programme is geared toward showing ordinary people the results they can achieve by making simple, sensible changes to their daily diet.

For the You Are What You Eat television programme, McKeith gives candid advice and a dietary makeover to a person, couple or family with nutritional needs. Typically, her advice centres around eliminating highly-processed foods such as fast food, take aways and ready meals from the diet while simultaneously increasing the amount of whole grain, fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds and lean meat consumed. McKeith also encourages participants to establish an exercise regime, and challenges them to stick to it. You Are What You Eat episodes often feature follow ups where McKeith returns to previous participants to catch up with them and see how they’ve progressed with keeping on track within the You Are What You Eat system.
   
McKeith is a big proponent of fresh juice and smoothies, so much so that she promotes a specific line of juicing equipment suitable for use at home and has published a number of recipe books with a significant number of recipes for drinks, rather than food. She also lends her name and the You Are What You Eat label to a range of breakfast bars, and snacks. All of which are based on fruit, nut and seed components to promote healthier eating, smarter snacking and informed nutritional choices.

The main rules for following the You Are What You Eat diet are:

1. Eat early (eating late may lead to weight gain as your body is more likely to store food while you sleep).

2. Abandon refined and processed foods.

3. Combine foods appropriately (do not mix proteins and carbohydrates, etc).

4. Drink eight glasses of water each day (water is a natural appetite suppressant and the body needs an adequate supply of water to eliminate toxins).

5. Avoid full-fat milk, cheese, cow’s milk dairy products and margarine (some people find these foods harder to digest).

6. Avoid sugar (sugar lowers the metabolism by causing peaks and troughs in insulin levels).

7. Cut down on wheat (eliminate it altogether if possible).

8. Eat “good” fats, avoid “bad” fats (good fats that stimulate the metabolism can be found in avacados, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fish, nuts and vegetables – saturated fats, considered “bad” are found in red meats and some dairy products).

9. Always eat breakfast (the best way to raise the metabolism is to stimulate it at the right time of day – eating breakfast does this as your stomach and spleen are strongest at the start of the day; plus, you have the whole day to burn off the calories consumed).

10. Don’t skip meals (skipping meals releases stress hormones that stimulate the brain’s natural defences against food scarcity – this can lead to muscle tissue being shed, which in turn leads to your body stockpiling fats to protect against starvation).

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