Think Good Fat Not Reduced Fat

Hey Guys,

I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about what is ‘healthy’ and what is not, just to gain an insight into different perspectives. I was quite surprised at the difference in opinion when it came to ‘reduced fat’ products, so I decided to do some research of my own. I personally am not a big fan of food labelled with ‘reduced fat’ but I decided to investigate whether I was justified in this perception.

Reduced fat vs Low Fat

Foods which contain the term “low fat” have to meet certain legal criteria in order to be able to utilise that label. Labels that contain terms such as “reduced fat” do not have to meet such criteria. This can of course become misleading but it is still legal, so of course companies will continue to boost their products and prey on consumers who are seeking so called healthy products.


Realistically by opting for a ‘reduced fat’ product the consumer is obviously hoping to avail of a product that is in fact reduced in fat. This is unfortunately not always the case. Just because a product contains this label, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the healthier option. Below is a guideline for checking the nutritional labels on products.

The reduced fat option simply equates to the product containing less fat than the original. If the original is still high in fat than a product that claims to be 20% – 30% less fat is still realistically going to be fattening. For example: a tub of ice-cream or a jar of mayo which claims to be 25% less fat, is still actually fattening. I seen this ad which actually proves the point perfectly.

It is also really important to note that ‘low fat’ and ‘reduced fat’ options may not actually be low in sugar, salt and calories. It does not automatically make them healthy. In many cases they can contain more sugar and salt in order to compensate.

I think we have become a fat obsessed generation and we are constantly looking for a quick fix. A healthy, balanced diet  cannot (unfortunately) be obtained via any quick fixes. I’m the first to admit that I still eat chocolate, pizza and all that lovely, fattening food. However I think that is necessary in order to keep balance. I think recognising this is crucial to weightloss and maintaining your weight. I personally would rather know I am eating something fattening and enjoy it and plan the rest of my meals / snacks accordingly as opposed to fooling myself into thinking I’m eating something healthy when I’m honestly not.

Think Good Fat not Reduced Fat

We need to think ‘good fat’ not ‘reduced fat’ and that is what will make a difference to our success. It is recommended that our diets consist of 30% of fat according to the American Heart Association. For so long we have been told to cut out fat and opt for reduced fat options, but that’s not necessarily ideal. Good fat; monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, can benefit your body and are great for lowering cholesterol. These can be found in food such as tuna, salmon and olive oils. Instead of thinking reduced fat, consider the type of fat you’re consuming.

This post is not intended to tell people not to eat ‘reduced fat’ foods, it’s primarily focused on ensuring people are not fooled by fancy labels that will play on their emotions. It is pointless to think we are eating healthy when we are not. No benefits will be gained or results achieved. It is important to know what is in our food and be able to differentiate between genuinely healthy food and those who just have clever marketing teams.

As I said I would rather eat a bar of chocolate and enjoy it then eat something that has hidden fat and calories and think I am being healthy. Just some food for thought 🙂

Until Next Time My Loves

Z x

See the Good

 

Be the Change you wish to see in the World

-Ghandi

Hey Guys,

Today I wanted to share three videos with you that really made me smile. I’m sick today and am admittedly quite a bad patient so the fact these videos managed to make me smile, I figured they have to be good.

There seems to be nothing but negative news at the moment and it’s easy to see why people are losing faith in humanity. There’s no denying that there are plenty of bad things going on in the world, but there are also great things happening everyday.

oscar-wilde-smallest-act-of-kindness-1024x1024

No matter how big or small, I think it is important to try and focus on the positive things that happen around us everyday. Don’t feel that your acts of kindness are being over shadowed because I can guarantee they make a difference to someone.

And finally, I know it’s everywhere but if anyone else out there needs cheering up like I did, then watch it as many times as you need. The cuteness does not fade!

I hope you all had a great weekend and are enjoying your Sunday evening. It’s the first day of Spring so make sure to kick some ass this week 🙂

Until Next Time My Loves

Z x

 

Healthy Hair, Happy You

Hey Guys,

I’m always looking for natural remedies to ensure my hair remains in good condition. There are a number of ways to keep your hair healthy and I think the majority of us are aware of these methods. Reducing the amount of heat you use on your hair and not washing it everyday seem to be the most widespread recommendations to ensure your locks remain in tact. I however have been trying out some additional methods and I’ve found that they are working great. I’ve noticed a significant difference in both the appearance and texture of my hair since the introduction. I can honestly say that after implementing these small changes into my lifestyle I certainly wont be going back! It’s nothing drastic. All of them are simple and easily incorporated into your everyday schedule.

Coconut Oil & Castor Oil

I know in  many cases hearing the word oil can instantly draw associations with greasy hair. Coconut oil however is great for nourishing your hair and is renowned for stimulating hair growth. Melt the oil and massage into your roots and the end of your hair. I leave it over night and just clip my hair up. I do however think it is really important to make sure you shampoo your hair twice the next day to ensure all traces of the oil are removed to avoid greasiness.  Coconut oil can be bought in the majority of supermarkets now and is also available in Holland & Barrett and other health stores.

Castor Oil can also have the same effect on hair growth and can be applied in the same manner as listed above. When choosing Castor Oil make sure it is cold pressed as this will benefit your hair the most. I found it quite difficult to find Castor Oil initially but it is available at The Health Food Store 

Pukka Castor Oil

Top Tip: Mix the two together to create the ultimate hair care product!

 

Biotin

I have read mixed reviews but I personally cannot rave about this product enough! I have been taking one capsule a day and I have noticed my hair not only growing quicker but also thickening too. There are a number of different strengths that you can get, so I would suggest that if you are apprehensive to ease the regime into your lifestyle.

Solgar Biotin

Buy Here

Cushion Pin Paddle Brush

A cushion pin, paddle brush is excellent for smoothing hair without causing damage. If you opt for a wooden version, it will aid in evenly distributing the natural oil in your hair. This will not only reduce the dreaded ‘greasy’ look, it will also result in your hair getting a natural conditioning treatment. I find that this results in me using less conditioner which means I don’t have to wash my hair as often. These kind of brushes can be purchased in almost every store that sells hairbrushes; Boots, pharmacies and even supermarkets. They are generally reasonable enough too.

We are all guilty of mistreating our hair. However these little introductions into your lifestyle can help combat any long term damage. As I said, these small changes have had a significant impact on my hair. I was initially considering the option of getting extensions but now I think that I am going to stick on this path. If the results continue as well as they have been over the last few weeks, I will be one happy bunny!

I hope you are all having a lovely Friday

Until Next Time My Loves 

Z x

Confessions of a Secret Snacker

Hey Guys,

Last week I was full of good intentions for kick starting my healthy eating regime, however I wasn’t as good as I had intended! Upon evaluation, I think I ate healthily for about 60% of the week. This is realistically not good enough. My main downfall came from food preparation.

Although I was initially motivated, I found myself craving unhealthy food come mid week. This is mainly down to two reasons; the first being that I have become accustomed to unhealthy food over the Christmas season and so now my body is craving fatty food. The second reason is definitely down to unimaginative meals. I really dislike boring food, it leaves me unsatisfied. I tend to pick at chocolate and crisps if the meal I ate was bland. Even if I am full, I will still snack on unhealthy food. That was one of my biggest downfalls last week. As I was tired (my first week back in work) I became unmotivated to plan my meals for I’d say about half the week. I became bored and so reached for the bad stuff. This week I am going to do my best to stay at least one day ahead with my food prep.

Last Night’s Food Prep for Today:

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The weekend was by far my biggest downfall. It always is. Despite the fact I didn’t consume even one drop of alcohol, I still managed to eat like I was hungover; i.e. eat crap! Again relating back to the food prep aspect, I was lazy at the weekend and so kept grabbing quick fix snacks which were high in sugar and saturated fat. I also went for dinner and the cinema so I can’t even comprehend how many calories were consumed on both outings. I think it’s best I don’t know! I do however think weekends off are for enjoying, but maybe just not so much in my case. I need to keep my organisational levels up and this will hopefully reduce my unhealthy eating habits.

Sums me up:

 A positive aspect from last week was that I did in fact work out so I’m hoping that it may have saved me slightly. I know the saying that you can never out train a bad diet, but I do believe a workout helps you feel better. I’m not a huge fan of the weighing scales and choose to go by how my jeans fit and how I look sans clothing. So I think my workouts did in fact rescue me this week. This however will not provide room for progress, it will simply aid in maintaining my current physique (which is not what I am aiming for!) thus proving I need to get my ass into gear with my diet.
 Although my carb intake is still a little higher than I would like, I did manage to avoid white bread and pasta, which is a small victory that I’m claiming from last week. Sweet potato is also my go to healthy carb when I’m feeling hungry, it is nutritious, filling and tasty! Perfect! This week I need to up the vegetable and fruit intake though as replacement for so much carbs. Again I feel it’s important to reiterate that I am working towards a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Not a strict, depressing diet!

I’m hoping next week’s evaluation is more successful. I am already keeping note of today’s eating antics! In the mean time I hope you all have a happy & healthy week 🙂

Until Next Time My Loves

Z x

Guide to Getting Fit & Healthy

Hey Guys,

I know from experience that the majority of us ladies start the New Year hoping to change our eating habits and achieve the body of our dreams! I am always the first to say that I am certainly not a fitness or weight loss expert, I do however want to look and feel good and so I’m always looking for tips to stay motivated. It is due to this that I have decided to interview four different girls about their own personal motivations and success. I have chosen the four girls based on the fact that every one of them work full time and have other commitments. They don’t get to spend all day working out and preparing food. They work around their schedule and endure the same struggles as the rest of us. Each of the girls is at different stages and have their own specific goals, so I’m hoping that everyone reading this will take something from the tips they give!

Fit & Healthy Girl No. 1

1. What is your biggest vice?

My biggest vice is going out! I don’t mind the calories consumed with alcohol as I normally  drink vodka (one of the lowest calorie alcoholic drinks) but a night out nearly always ends up in a takeaway and a constant binge the next day.

2. How do you over come this?

I do try to limit my nights out now to special occasions, as I don’t even enjoy drinking any more due to feeling so crap the next day and knowing that I will be hungover and wanting to binge. Also if I know that I have a big night out coming up, I will allow the next day to be my treat day for the week and make sure that I am consuming lots of water.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received about health & fitness?

Keep it simple! We’ve all fallen for juice diets and going ‘no carbs’ for four days, but diets don’t work. In order to lose weight it’s all about a lifestyle change and not a fad diet! A healthy lifestyle change can be kept simple, just try to limit junk food to one day a week and try exercise three or four times a week. Again keep it simple; a gym membership is not required to get fit and lose weight. A few long walks will help or challenge yourself to do a 5k and you will see some serious results.

It’s also important to remember that you didn’t gain weight over night so you won’t lose it as quick either! Be consistent and keep it simple. Oh and try drink two litres of water a day, it’s great for weight loss but your skin will thank you for it too!

4. What has kept you motivated?

I don’t think that there is any better feeling than being healthy and strong. My motivation for going for a run or taking a spin class is the feeling I get afterwards, knowing that my body will benefit and my mood will improve. It can be hard to stay motivated but once you get into a routine, you will love it. It takes 21 days to break a habit

so take the next 21 days to improve your healthy eating and commit yourself to a walk three times a week. Of course you’ll enjoy that treat on Saturday night even more knowing that yo worked your ass off all week!

Fit & Healthy Girl No. 2

1. What is your biggest vice? 

My biggest vice would be chocolate.

2. How do you over come this?

I have a small amount every night. I find going cold turkey just drags you down and I end up binging on Nutella!

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received about health & fitness?

In terms of diet, the best advice I’ve ever received is to treat your body like a furnace; you need to add fuel to keep it burning so eating small amounts more often. Also drink lots of water as the more you drink the less water you retain. In terms of training; high intensity interval training burns more than hours of cardio as you will keep burning calories for 24 hours after. So skip the treadmill and stepper and start doing burpees and press ups.

4. What has kept you motivated?

The best motivation for me is seeing results. If you take a picture every week in the same clothes you will be so impressed that you will keep going. Also I had an injury and didn’t train properly for so long because I was afraid I would do more damage. Now I work around it and still see results which means no matter what your strength capabilities, if you stay determined you will see results. So that is inspirational too.

Fit & Healthy Girl No. 3

1. What is your biggest vice?

My biggest vice is sour jellies and Cadburys chocolate, I have such a sweet tooth.

2. How do you over come this?

In order to overcome giving in to my vice, I look back over old pictures which puts me off eating chocolate and jellies as I don’t want to go back to that ‘before’ stage!

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received about health & fitness?

The best advice I’ve received is to keep ‘trucking on’ no matter how much you want to quit  and also to never let a bad day become a bad week. I am in Unislim and I never miss a weigh in, even though sometimes I may feel embarrassed. It keeps me on track because I know I could do major damage if I don’t go to a class. Also I think before and after photos are a great idea.

  4. What has kept you motivated?

Seeing results really is the best motivation you can get. I hit ‘like’ on all the Facebook and Instagram motivational pages but really the motivation comes from myself and seeing that I really can do it. Even though I haven’t yet reached my final target, I have come a long way. I have old photos scattered around the house which helps keep me motivated.

Fit & Healthy Girl No. 4

1. What is your biggest vice?

My biggest vice would be crisps, once I start I find it very hard to stop!

2. How do you over come this?

I overcome this by having them in moderation. I never deprive myself of something I am craving. I buy multi packs of my favourite crisps and have one packet a day, usually at night time when I can relax and really enjoy them.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received about health & fitness?

The best advice I have ever received is everything in moderation and to never be too hard on yourself if you go off the rails a bit, because it can send you in the completely wrong direction.

 4. What has kept you motivated?

What keeps me motivated the most is looking back at how far I have come from last year. The difference I feel about myself now and my new confidence keeps me motivated.

 I personally find it interesting, gaining an insight into other people’s habits and motivational tips. Each of the girls interviewed may have different weight loss and fitness goals but they do have one goal in common; looking and feeling their best. I hope that anyone who reads this can take something from it. It’s not realistic to put yourself under too much pressure and to deprive yourself, as each of the girls stated above. If this has helped each of them become fit and healthy then it surely proves that moderation and persistence will far out weigh starvation and deprivation!

Until Next Time My Loves 

Z x