Quick tips For Healthy Food Shopping

It is important that you understand exactly what foods you can eat and how best to shop for them. Food shopping can be very daunting, particularly when you are trying to change your eating habits. In order to help you with this, we’d like to give you some guidance when it comes to choosing shop bought foods:

  1. Never buy low fat products – when you remove the fat from a product it has to be replaced with something else. The ingredient which is commonly added to low fat products is sugar. Please remember that there is no need to count or watch your fat intake when you are following a low carbohydrate diet. Consuming low fat products will have a negative impact on your weight/inch loss.
  1. Avoid sugar-free products – a lot of products advertise themselves as sugar free or ‘suitable for diabetics’. These products, however, will be packed with lots of artificial sweeteners, which can still cause an insulin response and if eaten in excess, will cause a laxative response.
  1. Look out for hidden sugars – there are many products which may contain a lot of added sugars without you realising such as sauces, pickled vegetables, vinegars, ready meals, ready-made sauces and cured meats. This is why it is always important to look at the carbohydrate content of the foods you are purchasing.

Bottom Line – Real Food

Eating too much sugar is not good for overall health. Here we understand the importance of eating well and making the right choices to lose weight and to improve health.

Changing Your Food Habits For Good

Taking the decision to eat better and be more active is great! You are motivated and ready to take on the world. However sometimes life can get in the way resulting in our health goals taking a back seat and before we know it, we are slipping back into old routines.

We have all been experienced this and together, the team have compiled some hints and tips to help keep you motivated and maintain those healthy habits that you’ve introduced into your lifestyle:

  1.    Stay away from the problem/issue that may be causing you to go back to unhealthy habits.
  2.    Remove/ minimise the foods from your home that can lead to to these unhealthy routines so that you do not feel tempted, or keep them out of sight
  3.    Make sure you always have a good supply of ready to eat low carb snacks
  4.    Limit your eating to one place, preferably in a place where you won’t be distracted, for example watching TV
  5.    Limit your other activities when you eat. For example, don’t look at your phone or at a PC screen – focus on your eating
  6.    Don’t go shopping when you are hungry and make a list before you go. This helps you to stay focused on buying the items you know you want
  7.    Be sure to avoid certain areas of the supermarket altogether, for example the crisps section
  8.    Have a low-carb sweet treat (such as 70% dark chocolate) on you at all times
  9.    Change your route to work/school run etc. if you feel that there are too many temptations on the way, for example the smell of the bakers
  10. Try to avoid large all-you-can eat buffets

Whilst this list is not exhaustive, it certainly worthwhile taking some time out and reflecting on what can help you to maintain and achieve your health goals.

Intermittent Fasting – What Does It Mean?

Quite simply, it is a pattern of eating which splits the day into periods of eating and not eating (or fasting). Fasting allows you to maximise fat loss as the body will use stored fat for energy. Through the night, our bodies are in a fasted state which we break with ‘break-fast’. By increasing the time which we allow our bodies to fast we increase the time which the body is burning fat.

How does it work?

When we eat, more energy is consumed than can be immediately used so some of this energy is stored for later. Insulin is the key hormone involved in the storage of food energy. When we eat, insulin rises which helps to store the excess energy in two ways. Sugar is converted to glycogen and then stored in the liver. Once storage in the liver is full, it begins to turn the excess glucose into fat which is then stored in other fat deposits in the body.

When we do not eat, the process goes in reverse. Insulin levels fall so the body starts to burn stored energy. Firstly, it will burn up the stored glycogen in the liver and once there is no more of this available (after around 24-36 hours), it will switch to the fat stores within the body.

Combining low carb and intermittent fasting

As we know, following a low carb Ketogenic diet means that your body is already in fat burn mode. In the first few days of starting a low carb plan the body burns up all stored glycogen and then switches to stored fat. This means that if you combine periods of fasting with the low carb diet, you will get maximum fat burn.

Through the night, our bodies are in a fasted state which is broken when we wake with ‘break-fast’. If we increase the time we allow our bodies to fast we increase the time which the body will burn fat.

Getting started

Choose your Fast:Eat time periods. A great place to start is with 16:8 meaning that you will fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour time window each day (between 11am and 7pm or 12pm and 8pm for example). It is natural that you might feel hungry for the first few days as your body adapts to your new regime. This will pass. Read our FAQs at the end of this booklet for some tips on how to manage hunger and cravings.

For most people, the first meal they will have when breaking their fast will be lunch however, this is different for each person so you may wish to have a snack before lunch.

How do I break a fast?

You should aim to break your fast gently. Some people can find that they are starting to get a little bit hungry towards the end of their fast but it is important that you do not over eat. Have a small meal or snack, whichever fits in best with your lifestyle. If you still feel hungry an hour later, make use of the additional snack options on the opposite page.

What if I am hungry?

It is common that you might feel hungry in the first few days as your body adapts. Make sure that you drink plenty of water while fasting and do not binge during eating hours. Remember that hunger comes in waves; it will not continue to build and become unbearable. Allow your body time to adapt. If you are concerned about anything at all, get in touch and we can help further.

Will I lose weight?

Yes. Following a low carb diet will help you to burn fat for energy. Combining this with Intermittent Fasting will prolong and maximise fat burning and give you the very best weight loss and body shape changes.

Can I exercise?

Of course, exercise is great for your body and mind. Following an intermittent fasting plan should not stop you from exercising. You may find that it takes a few days to adapt and become familiar with your new regime but once you have adapted, your energy levels should be back to normal.

Should I break my fast before exercising?

This is personal preference. Many people will do a cardio session before breaking their fast. This means that you will cause the body to expend more energy meaning that it will need to burn more fat to fuel it. For high intensity work outs or weight lifting sessions, it may be better to wait until you have broken your fast. Again, it is personal preference so listen to what your body is telling you.

Will fasting burn my muscle?

No. The body will use stored fat for energy; it will not break down muscle to fuel itself.

Is it not important to eat breakfast every morning?

No, it’s not. This is an old misconception. Skipping your morning meal simply allows the body more time to burn fat. Hunger tends to be the lowest first thing in the morning so it is often easiest to skip breakfast and break your fast later in the day.

Are there any possible side effects?

 Side effects can be similar to starting a low carb diet (see earlier in the booklet) and, thankfully, tend to be very short lived. If you are concerned, please do get in touch and we can help further.