In other words,
It would claim to transform people to their desired shape.
I’m interested in learning more about the science behind intermittent fasting and if it is sustainable in the long term.
What is intermittent fasting?
Basically, it means changing the timing of your meals and snacks so there is a prolonged period that you are not eating or drinking.
This is thought to help your body switch from a ‘fed’ to a ‘fasted’ state. This fasted state is thought to tell your body to utilise your fat stores rather than your glucose stores (glycogen) to fuel your body.
There are many variations of fasting, a simple google search will prove this. ‘The 5:2 diet’ involves restricting calorie intake to 500-600 for two days of the week. The 16:8 fasting method involves a 16 hour fast and 8 hour eating window. The list goes on.
Let’s talk Science
Carbohydrate, or glucose, is the bodies preferred fuel source and one of the main objectives is to keep our blood sugar levels within a ‘normal’ range.
Our carbohydrate (glycogen) stores are depleted during exercise or if no food is consumed in 18-24 hours. Once this happens our body needs to find a way to produce glucose. Our bodies are so smart that they can break down our muscles to produce glucose, this is called gluconeogenesis. Our bodies can also utilise our fat stores in a process called beta-oxidation. Our fat stores are not converted to glucose but to ketones which can fuel our brain and muscle cells in the absence of glucose.
This happens when we are in the fasting state or “starvation” mode. So, if we starve or fast, our bodies will use muscles and/or fat stores to keep us alive.
So, in theory, fasting may help utilise your fat stores, but in order to recommend fasting I need some scientific support that has been conducted on humans.
Unfortunately, much of the literature I have reviewed on this topic is based on anecdotal personal accounts, or laboratory studies on mice rather than human subjects.
The anecdotal evidence has presented individual accounts of people having had short-term success meeting certain weight management goals, but I have concerns about some secondary aspects of intermittent fasting.
The issues I have with fasting:
Diets don’t work, we need to be able to continue the changes we make for the rest of our lives. This means fuelling our bodies and our minds.
I would argue that the psychological aspects of fasting (that is food deprivation/starvation) are not suitable or realistic in the long-term. They’re almost like a punishment.
We have different triggers to eat - environmental cues (like a morning tea shout), emotional cues (like sadness), stress, hormonal fluctuations, social events, exercise and our actual hunger cues.
I encourage people to identify what is triggering them to eat or overeat, understand why and then address that.
I also work with a lot of athletes. A sustained calorie restriction in athletes can not only impair performance and recovery, it can result in a condition called Relative Energy Deficiency in sport (RED-S) which can negatively affect bone health, hormonal balance, immunity, mental health and heart health.
So, is Intermittent Fasting a Superhero? At this point I’m going to say no. That applies especially to those wanting to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves or their families or to meet nutritional requirements for exercise.
Reducing our intakes of processed foods, eating plenty of vegetables, oily fish, wholegrains and legumes are a way to fuel our minds and bodies. Actual food is the real Superhero.
In order for me to have success in the kitchen I need recipes(/what recipes?) to have room for creative freedom.
I half, I double, I take things out and I add things in.
I can imagine that watching me bake is stressful for the perfectionists among us.
The way I cook only works when I think about the role of any ingredients that I change.
This is especially important for baking as most ingredients are there for a reason.
I LOVE using pumpkin in baking.
I also LOVE substituting blitzed oats for flour as a healthier alternative.
I have developed a pumpkin spice muffin that is nutritious, moist and delicious.
NB: At first I didn't use the LSA but the mixture was too runny so I added it at the end to help hold the mixture together.
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Soak dates in boiling water
3. Add oats to food processor until it resembles flour.
4. Put in a bowl and add other dry ingredients - LSA, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt.
5. Leave the skin on and chop pumpkin in half. Chop in to small cubes and boil/microwave until soft.
6. Add pumpkin to food processor to make a puree. Add other wet ingredients - drained dates, coconut cream, vanilla essence, eggs.
7. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix.
8. Add mixture to muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Makes 12 generous muffins. Or 1 large loaf
Download the pdf here.
Per 100g: Carbs (g) Starch(g) Fibre (g)
Butternut squash 6.9 1.7 1.8
Kumara – with skin 14.1 8.5 3.0
Potato – with skin 12.9 12.3 1.8
All three of these vegetables are amazing. They contain goodies like: Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. All of which play a role in keeping us well.
It is commonly thought that pumpkins have a high carbohydrate content, but you can see the Butternut squash has almost half the carbohydrate content of both potato and kumara; very little starch and like a lot of vegetables, it’s high in dietary fibre.
To get the most out of these vegetables and to decrease meal preparation time, leave the skins on.
Tip - If you’re making soup, pumpkin skins can be easily blended by using a stick blender.
Keep cosy during this cold snap and perhaps warm up with some pumpkin soup, I plan on it.
Three reasons why this saucy number is up for review:
It wows me how much sugar/sweeteners, preservatives, artificial flavours and colours are added to sauces we buy at the supermarket.
We all know someone that puts sauce on EVERYTHING (even a roast dinner) and shows no sign of stopping – they need the best option.
I have a bottle of Get Real Food’s Tomato sauce
Get real food – the result of two kiwi Mums getting together and creating a product range with “no nasties”. I have their tomato and BBQ sauce – I chose to review BBQ sauce because 60% of the time I’d choose BBQ every time.
I wanted unadulterated flavour so first I tried it by itself – it was smoky and tangy like all good BBQ sauce. I then added it to eggs, which it complimented well. Extra points for not giving me a sugar rush. Tick.
I hate that the nutritional value of things like sauce even need to be considered – if you are having something sweet you want it to be an obvious sweet treat, right? I’m thinking ice-cream or a caramel slice. Not something that is considered savoury.
Popular brands (Hint: rhymes with squatties) Tomato sauce is 30% sugar and I found a sweet-chilli sauce packing a sugar punch of 66% (more sweet, less chilli).
Sneaky food companies.
Sugar is sugar is sugar. Meaning whether you’re adding white sugar, raw sugar, organic coconut sugar, molasses, rice syrup, maltose, nectars, agave syrup, maple syrup (just to name a few) you are adding “free sugar”. It is recommended that what we eat on a daily basis should be under 10% of free sugars (ideally under 5%). In simple terms this means sweetened foods should be kept to a minimum.
Given there is 14.3g/100g of “sugar” in Get Real Foods BBQ Sauce there is free sugar coming from somewhere. That somewhere is Apple juice concentrate and Blackstrap Molasses. Dates contain natural sugar too so they will be adding sweetness. In comparison a sauce with 14.3% “free sugar” is a job well done. You should however still be weary of how much you are adding at the table.
I appreciate NZ brands that do their best to reduce sugar content and make the ethical choice not to use preservatives, artificial flavours or colours.
Good one Get Real Food.
Beetroot as a sports supplement??
One beetroot (82g):
Beetroot also contains Nitrates.
Nitrates get converted to NITRIC OXIDE.
Nitric oxide opens our blood vessels which allows more blood and oxygen to be delivered to our muscles during exercise.
So. . . .beetroot = nitrates = nitric oxide = happier muscles = potential improvement in performance
You will need around 500ml of straight beetroot juice to get the desired concentration of nitrates OR companies like Beet It Sport offer a 70ml shot that offer similar amount of Nitrates.
NB: watch for purple pee or poo or stomach upset
You can know everything there is about macros, micronutrients, phytonutrients, dietary carcinogens, supplements, sports nutrition and how to fuel athletes.
However, if you don't know how to cook or how to apply that knowledge practically then what good is it?
Check out the photo below of some athletes cooking up a storm - nice one team.
An Evening that is applicable to females of all ages!
Buy a ticket and come along with your mum, sister or bestie!
Be informed, have fun and remember - knowledge is power
Check out our facebook page or contact Hilary on 021480180 or email@example.com for tickets
I want to be abundantly clear about my intentions as your Dietitian
I have recently returned home after working as a Dietitian in the UK.
Starting up Privately is new to me, I am constantly learning.
Come on this journey with me - It's fun.
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