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Health

My Body Beware – 4

I have diabetes in my family history. My Dad has Type II, so did an aunt of mine, and my Great Aunt died of it. As a chubby (sort of) kid with that kind of family history, it’s not surprising that my blood sugar has been tested on a regular basis through most of my life. And it’s fine. Always has been. But blood sugar is only the second half of the equation. The first half is how the body reacts to insulin – and mine doesn’t.

Insulin does a lot of things but its biggest job is to control the carbohydrates I eat and transmit the processed glucose to the cells in my body, so I can use that energy. If the cells don’t open up to receive the glucose, my body produces more insulin to force the cells open and to deal with the glucose running loose in my body. This is insulin resistance (a very simple explanation, sorry), and the worst thing about it is a) it stops you losing weight and b) if untreated, leads directly to Type II Diabetes. (more…)

My Body Beware – 2

I don’t like my belly. I haven’t liked it since it got so big. I particularly dislike that when I sit back in a chair, the only position for my hands is to clasp them across the great girth of my tummy, reminding me of just how big it is. I don’t like how it feels when I move, or how I can always see it when I look down, and have to bend further before I can glimpse the gorgeous red polish of my latest pedicure. So no, I don’t like my stomach that much. And as it turns out, my stomach doesn’t like me all that much, either. (more…)

Gut Reactions and Obesity

So you’re on a diet, and your resistance to temptation is firing on all thrusters. You’re out for a jog every day, doing weights every second day. You have 30kg to lose, but when you go to weigh in you find that, despite the fact that you burned 800 calories every day in sweat-filled exercise, and not swallowed a mouthful above your stated 1200 calories per day – you’ve lost almost nothing.

This is the point at which even grown, butch manly-men will cry. What did you do wrong? Why isn’t it working? Why does it work for other people but not you? (more…)

Addicted to Crap

Discarded McDonalds packaging
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The picture: the honey-coloured bun, the juicy beef and that weird-but-delicious golden cheese melting all over it, and sitting right next to it is the box of cracking-hot, fresh out of the pan and lightly salted fries. De-lic-ious!

I hate junk food. No, seriously, I do. I’ve never liked fried food, not ever. It usually makes me feel a bit sick afterwards, and now, in my … well, we’ll say adult years, I find I can suffer occasional bouts of indigestion after a particularly fatty meal. And I also notice that I end up feeling a bit down after I’ve eaten a pile of greasy mess, like when a favourite TV show has just been cancelled.  (more…)

The Great Taste Sensation

Studies show that broccoli may help in the pre...

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I’ve always loved my vegies. I know, weird, huh? I was lucky to grow up with a mother who didn’t boil the crap out of them before forcing us to consume half-cold, grey tasteless mashy stuff on a daily basis. Instead, she cooked us honey carrots, zucchini with garlic and butter, cauliflower cheese, broccoli and green beans in white wine and garlic. The list goes on. The point is, the vegies tasted fantastic, so we ate them up. But I’ve recently discovered something unexpected while making meals on my diet and it’s changed my eating habits forever. (more…)

Surprised

Chicken Makhani, murgh makhani, or "Butte...

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I did an unbelievable thing last night. Something I’m quite sure I’ve never done before. Even now, hours later, I’m still surprised by it.

I went to dinner at the home of some friends. I’d not said anything to them about being on any kind of diet. That was quite deliberate, because I don’t necessarily want people going out of their way to feed me food they think will be okay, and then having them stress that I can’t eat whatever it is they’ve been generous enough to serve me. Besides, I know these people are pretty conscious about eating healthy food, and they grow almost all their own vegetables, so I knew that even if the meal was outside my prescribed diet, it would be good for me and it would taste great. Seriously, that’s all anybody should hope for in a free meal, right? (more…)

Diet Drinks May Help Make You Fat

Diet Coke Products

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Many years ago, before I made any serious attempt to lose weight, I opted to switch to sugar-free soft drinks and sodas because I didn’t like the sugary flavour of the normal ones, and didn’t particularly enjoy how drinking a glass of Coke left me with a furry coating on my teeth. I’ve stuck religiously to diet sodas ever since, but now it turns out that might well have been the worst thing I could do.
(more…)

A Doctor Who Makes Sense

The Doctor, by Sir Luke Fildes (1891)

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One of the worst things about having a weight problem is not just society’s inability to understand or appreciate the reality of the problem – but also the medical profession’s general ignorance about how to treat it.

Doctors, for all that they’re well-meaning, can unfortunately, tend to see a series of symptoms, a pathology, rather than a human being with a problem that needs help. I’ve had doctors tell me just to do more exercise, or stop eating fat, or to “just go on a diet”.

Health professionals look at the results of the problem – your increasing girth – rather than the underlying causes. As a result, they usually miss the real triggers, the real causes, and therefore, miss treating the actual things that will make a difference. (more…)

Being Precious

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...

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There is nothing in this world so easy as failing a diet. It takes no effort at all. Sometimes, no more than a thought will push you over to the Dark Side, and calories are instantly converted to pounds of unwilling, globulous fat. (more…)

Hardly a Diet

The original graph of body size versus metabol...

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When we think about a diet these days, we all have the same image of celery sticks, dry biscuits and lettuce leaves: tasteless food and an endless feeling of hunger. A constant feeling of being dissatisfied and wanting more. And the unending desperation to eat something solid and substantial. I’d like to say that these kinds of diets are well out of fashion but alas, there are some out there that still treat the body this badly.

The studies done into ‘deprivation dieting’ (which is what the above description… er, describes) have proven one fact above all else – when you deprive your body in such a way, you both decrease your metabolic rate (because your body thinks starvation time has come around again) and increase your subconscious need to binge eat. These are both unconscious, physiological body responses to a sudden and sustained lack of food. These responses are genetically built into us and were what helped our ancient ancestors to survive fammine. What they are not, is any help to losing weight. (more…)