What does your body fat say about you?

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by Ray, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Diet & Fitness

    What does your body fat say about you?

    Your problem areas could be down to an underlying health issue…

    No woman's body shape is identical and while you might despair at your ability to only gain and lose weight on your bum and boobs the chances are that your friend would gladly trade in her muffin top or back fat for a wobbly backside and heaving bosoms. Body shape and where we store fat is generally down to genes but sometimes stubborn pockets of fat can be due to an underlying health issue. Read on to see what your body fat says about you.

    Problem area: Stomach

    If you always seem to end up with a paunch after a particularly unhealthy week it could be down to your stressful lifestyle. When we're stressed our bodies produce too much of the hormone cortisol which causes the body to store fat. Couple that reaction with too much comfort eating and you've got a recipe for fast weight gain. To help your body relax and deal with stress in healthier ways, try meditation and exercises like Yoga. Simply taking a five minute break from your desk when things feel like they're spiralling out of control can also help you gain some perspective and stop you heading to the vending machine.

    Problem area: Knees and calves

    Chunky knees and unsightly ‘cankles' are not only bad news for your wardrobe, they're also a key indicator that you don't have enough growth hormone and that you are not getting enough sleep. Another reason for puffy legs could be water retention so drink plenty of water and cut down on wheat to beat the bloat. You should also try getting a couple of early nights every week or if you're finding it hard to switch off, drink some valerian tea which is so effective it's known as nature's Valium.

    Problem area: Hips and back

    There's nothing worse than seeing bulges of fat poking out beneath a too tight bra strap but rather than forking out a fortune on new lingerie you could just try cutting out carbohydrates. Fat build-up in these areas is a sign that you are producing too much insulin and is also a warning sign of diabetes. Switch to low-GI carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread and pasta and cut out sugar to lose weight in these areas.

    Problem area: Thighs, chest and upper arms

    Bingo wings, bigger boobs and wobbly thighs are all signs that you are producing too much oestrogen. This can come from the type of contraceptive pill you are taking and from some chemicals in plastics which mimic oestrogen causing fat build-up. Speak to your doctor about switching pills and if you're always refilling your plastic bottle of water then switch to a glass one.

    Problem area: Sides

    Hate those spongy bits when your ribs finish? Thyroid hormones can cause fat to gather in this area and can be caused by heavy metal poisoning from tap water, metal fillings and fluorides in toothpaste. Invest in a water filter and keep it topped up in the fridge and make sure you're consuming plenty of fibre and flaxseed to ensure you're getting rid of metals from your body.


  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Dont Let Stress Ruin Your Diet

    Find out how healthy eating habits can prevent you from craving alcohol and unhealthy snacks when life gets stressful.
    Sep 27, 2005 05:03:34 PM

    Does the thought of another stressful day at work drive you to the biscuit tin? Do you yearn for a gin and tonic when the pressure is on at home? Do children, commuters, traffic, supermarket queues or noise propel you towards the chocolate bars? Although it might seem impossible, you can stay as cool as a cucumber even when the stress is on!

    Stress can make everything about you feel out of sorts. Your heart races like an express train, your irritability soars to dangerous levels and you sweat – profusely!

    Job-related stress results in an estimated 30 million working days being lost every year, but work attendance isn't the only casualty of stress. According to recent research, women's eating habits suffer greatly when under stress. Apparently women are six times more likely to comfort themselves with junk food than stressed-out men are! Men are traditionally more likely to head for the pub to drown their anxieties, but indications show that women are beginning to follow them there (once we have scoffed the contents of the biscuit tin, that is!).

    Caffeine – another firm favourite when under stress! While a few cups of coffee during the day can help sharpen your wits, more than five or six can heighten the stress reaction by stimulating excess adrenaline. Needless to say, these habits do not help us deal with stress in the long term, even though they may make us feel slightly better in the short term. While some foods can add to stress, good, healthy eating habits can help you cope better!

    Healthy eating tips

    A diet rich in carbohydrates is one of the most effective weapons in fighting stress. They stimulate the brain's production of the feelgood chemicals, endorphins, and can help stress-prone people cope with stressful situations.

    This mineral can help some of the physical side-effects of stress. Low levels of magnesium can make the effect of 'noise stress' much worse - roaring traffic, loud music, next door's kids and the like. Top your magnesium levels up with foods such as nuts, dried fruit, sardines, green leafy vegetables, wholegrains and pulses.

    B vitamins
    Essential for the nervous system, B vitamins can also help reduce stress levels. Eat lots of wholegrains, lean meat, fish, nuts, milk, pulses and peas.

    Vitamin C
    The body uses more vitamin C when under stress and a low intake can weaken the immune system and make it difficult to fight infections and heal wounds. Good sources of vitamin C are strawberries, kiwi fruit, citrus fruit and fruit juice, tomatoes and potatoes.

    Meal time dos and don'ts
    So, how do you eat your way to a stress-free life? Follow these rules...

    Do make it a priority. Research at Bristol University found that people aged between 20 and 79 who ate breakfast every day were less stressed, and suffered less emotional distress and depression than people who skipped breakfast. Do base your breakfast on energy-boosting foods rich in wholegrain complex carbohydrates and B vitamins – cereals, breads, bananas, baked beans or dried fruit. Don't attempt to get by on a cup of coffee. In the long term it can lead to a drop in energy, feelings of stress and mood fluctuations.

    Do eat foods with a high nutrient value – not just a soggy sandwich! Tuna, sardines, pulses, eggs and wholegrain breads help guard against the effects of stress. Protein-rich foods make you feel more alert and help combat afternoon sleepiness. Do eat some brightly coloured vegetables or dark leafy greens. They contain important antioxidants used by the body to mop up damaging free radicals, which increase in the body during stress. Don't drink alcohol! This will only impair your performance during the afternoon, and drinking on an empty stomach can also deplete energy and vital stress-fighting nutrients.

    Do include at least two portions of vegetables and some fruit for dessert. They supply lots of phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help offset the damaging effects of stress on the immune system. Do have a glass of wine, but don't go mad. Under the right circumstances – with an evening meal when you are able to unwind - a small amount of alcohol can help you relax. Red wine also contains flavonoids, which can boost your heart health. Don't cut out all the comfort foods. They have a significant effect on your psychological health. Opt for lower-fat alternatives – oven chips, skimmed-milk custard and lower-fat cheese, for example.

    Do eat a healthy snack mid morning and afternoon to keep energy levels high. Don't deny yourself the odd sweet treat if it's what you really fancy, as carbohydrate in any form will help calm and soothe. Moderate chocolate consumption can make life more tolerable – according to the Association for Research into the Science of Life!

    Although these changes to your diet won't take the stresses and strains out of everyday living, they will help you cope that little bit better. So go on, eat better and feel better.


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