6 HABITS THAT DESTROY YOUR METABOLISM

If you’ve been struggling to lose weight or are frustrated at your body’s ability to pack on muscle, don’t despair. It could be that your metabolism is to blame – and if that’s the case, there are steps you can take to remedy this. Stress, poor sleep, bad eating and overtraining can all inhibit your metabolism, making it harder to shed pounds. On top of that, you may feel tired and lethargic. But what exactly is your metabolism and which habits can negatively affect it?

Most people are familiar with the term ‘metabolic rate’, but few seem to know what it truly means. Your metabolism is like the engine in your car. It’s responsible for breaking down the molecules in your body to provide energy. Like a car, your metabolic rate can be revved up, or it can be slowed down. If it’s the latter, avoid the following pitfalls to boost your metabolic rate and keep your body ticking over like a finely tuned engine.

Dehydration

Not drinking enough water is a sure fire way to slow down your metabolism. Proper hydration keeps your metabolism up and helps eliminate toxins. Studies have found that drinking water can increase resting metabolic rate, improves your body’s ability to burn fat, fuels your muscles and ensures optimum performance.

Overtraining

Performing too much cardio or lifting weights for too long can lead to overtraining, which results in a slower metabolism. Excessive cardio decreases your metabolic rate and burns muscle, making it harder to lose fat. It also elevates levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which further affects your metabolism. Listen to your body and train smart. Unless you’re training for an endurance event, limit your cardio sessions to 45 minutes to prevent catabolism (muscle loss), and unless you’re a pro athlete, your strength workouts shouldn’t last more than an hour.

Faddy Diets  

Extreme diets are notorious for their tendency to decrease metabolic rate. Many of the weight-loss plans touted by the media provide less than 1,000 calories a day, which is disastrous. Not only will this drastic calorie reduction leave your system out of whack, but you’re setting yourself up for subsequent weight gain, hormonal imbalances and a host of health issues. If you genuinely want to lose weight, change your eating habits over the long term rather than resorting to quick fixes. Cleaning up your diet and making better food choices will boost your overall health and facilitate weight-loss for the long term.

Skipping Meals

Skipping meals is a tempting shortcut to weight loss, but it’s more likely to have the opposite effect. This practice can cause your body to enter starvation mode and store calories for later use. In effect, it lowers your metabolic rate, slows down weight loss and is linked to an increase in belly fat. To keep your metabolism up, eat little and often.

Lack Of Sleep

Sleep and metabolism are strongly connected. Research shows that people who don’t get enough rest tend to weigh more than those sleeping at least eight hours per night. Poor sleep doesn’t just leave you tired it also slows your metabolism, causes muscle loss and lowers post-exercise recovery. It can also interfere with your hormone levels, leading to decreased testosterone production, insulin resistance, and adrenal disorders which are a complete recipe for disaster.

Insufficient Protein

Protein takes longer to digest than fats/carbs. For this reason, it requires more energy. A high protein intake equals more kcals burned and a faster metabolism. People who work out regularly require even more protein in their diet. Be sure to eat plenty of pulses, fish, poultry, lean meat and eggs. Supplementing your diet with a quality protein such as Pea Protein is an easy way to help you meet your daily protein needs.

By eliminating these bad habits, you will fire up your metabolism and turn your body into a highly efficient fat-burning furnace.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Are you guilty of any of these habits? What are you going to do differently going forwards? Email me and let me know.

Love Gaynor x

AVOCADO PESTO

I made this delicious avocado pesto recently, teamed it up with crudités and was in pesto heaven. Who doesn’t love basil and avocadoes ugh?! And it’s a perfect dip for Summer.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch fresh basil
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teasp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Whizz all in a blender until finely chopped, except the olive oil
  • Add olive oil until a smooth paste
  • Cover closely with cling film to prevent browning
  • Chill well

USES

  • Spread on oatcakes
  • Toss into courgette noodles
  • Top on bruschetta
  • Dip with crudités

HOW TO LOSE YOUR MUFFIN TOP

Love handles. Overhang. Muffin top. Whatever you want to call it some of us have a little more excess than we’d ideally like.

You see it’s all to do with the hormone insulin. And this little monster if not managed properly can give you love handles and back fat. So if your someone who suffers from the old muffin top look keep reading. All is not lost!

As I’ve said time and time again, hormones are very powerful and control many functions and processes in the human body. The good news is the diet and lifestyle choices you make effect these hormones and whether they negatively or positively impact on your health.

So let’s dive straight in and talk Insulin.

Insulin is the master hormone of metabolism and is produced by the pancreas. It’s got lots of jobs, but most importantly it regulates blood glucose levels by transporting it to cells to be used as fuel. If the cell has all the fuel it needs insulin then converts the excess glucose (sugar) to fat for storage. This is ok within reason. We all need a little insulation and cushioning.

The degree to which you can process and respond to glucose in your body is called insulin sensitivity. The higher this is, the more efficiently your body uses carbohydrates and the less likely you are to store them as fat.

So far so good.

But this is where it all goes a bit pear-shaped. As we know alot of people, love refined carbs and simple sugars. This wreaks havoc because your body feels like its been hit by a bus. Blood sugar levels rise very quickly. And your poor little pancreas works overtime to release a ton of extra insulin to deal with this.

If this happens on a regular basis, you’ll get into a vicious cycle of raised blood sugar levels and excessive insulin production. And over time you may develop insulin resistance, which makes your body less effective at regulating blood sugar. It also affects your ability to utilise stored fat as energy and lose weight. To get out of this downward spiral, you have to make drastic changes to the composition of your diet and the ratios of each macronutrient to kick-start the process.

But it’s not just about weight. Too much glucose and insulin are major culprits in many diseases. In extreme cases, people’s insulin production shuts down leading to type 2 diabetes. So this is serious shit, and not to be taken lightly!

The good news is that insulin resistance can be mitigated with a healthy lifestyle. So here’s three areas to help you whittle those fat pockets away while increasing insulin sensitivity at the same time.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are not the enemy. However, they do illicit the most aggressive response to insulin especially when eaten in isolation. It’s not just the blood glucose spike they cause, but also it can take 5-7 days for the body to “reset” especially after consuming simple/refined carbs. So it seriously hampers progress!

So be smart with your carb choices. Consume lower GI foods such as sweet potato, brown rice, and quinoa and consume them with fibrous vegetables, protein and some healthy fats as this will help lower the insulin response.

Sugary refined carbs in isolation, especially for those with a degree of insulin resistance is a no go!

Lift Weight

When you lift weights within relatively low rep ranges to failure you help up-regulate glucose tolerance that in turn improves insulin sensitivity. This is one of the reasons I recommend consuming a large amount of your daily carbohydrate intake post training when you are more insulin sensitive. To milk the benefits follow full body workouts with multi-joint compound lifts. It will help you get leaner and healthier not bulky!

Fibre

Fibre plays a major role in achieving better insulin health. When you consume fibre with carbohydrates and protein, it helps lower the insulin response so keeping the amount of insulin in your blood down. Aim for 30-50 grams of fibre a day from mixed vegetables plus a great supplement to help is Fibre Plus. Also, you’ll get fibre from a quality greens powders such as Liquid Chlorophyll.

My take home message with insulin is to treat your body with respect. Shocking your system by dumping a ton of glucose into your bloodstream is not cool. Instead, nourish your cells with nutrient rich foods.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you struggle with love handles? Back fat? Any tips you’d like to tell me about? Email me and let me know.

Love Gaynor x

P.S. Make sure you take advantage of my FREE B-Fit session here.

GAZPACHO

On a hot summer night, there is nothing more refreshing than a bowl of chilled soup.

The most well-known chilled soup is Gazpacho. This is a tomato-based blend of peppers, onions, cucumbers and a long list of other vegetables blended and spiked with vinegar or lemon. I love a spicy bowl of gazpacho, but when I make this chilled soup, I like to keep the recipe as simple as possible with the least amount of ingredients. It’s summer, after all, why would I wish to be stuck indoors cooking fancy meals.

Chilled soups are most refreshing when chilled completely in the refrigerator (not just at room temperature). You can also make them in advance and indeed the flavours intensify, so they are even better.

Here is my favourite chilled Gazpacho recipes from Leith’s Bible. It serves 6.

INGREDIENTS

  • 900 grams very ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 thick slice gluten free white bread
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
  • 450 grams tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Chop the tomato, onion, red pepper and cucumber
  • Set aside as a garnish
  • Roughly chop the remaining vegetables for the blender
  • Put the bread, yolk, and garlic into a blender and blend
  • Add oil in a thin steady stream to the mix
  • Add the vinegar and all soup ingredients and blend until smooth
  • Sieve to remove the tomato seeds
  • Adjust seasoning to taste
  • Serve icy cold and garnished with the chopped vegetables

HOW TO GET THINNER THIGHS

Got chunky thighs? Would you like slim, toned pins? I don’t think I know any woman who wouldn’t!

Before we dive into the 4 tips, I want to give you first a little background, so you understand why some women struggle with larger thighs. It all revolves around the hormone Estrogen.

High levels of this hormone are great for making babies but a nightmare for weight loss. It’s also responsible for the classic female pear shape i.e. slim on top, bigger on the bottom. Men also can have high levels of estrogen. This combined with low testosterone can result in gynecomastia more commonly known as man boobs. Sexy ugh?!

The world’s leading coaches will tell you that stubborn areas of fat are partially dictated by hormones. If you can focus on positively impacting your hormonal balances, then there is a good chance you can encourage these trouble fat areas to disappear.

As you already know, bad dietary choices can inflict damage on your hormonal balance. As this happens, you will experience physical changes, one of which is stubborn fat pockets gathering around your thighs and bum.

The good news is there’s a lot you can do. Certain eating habits lead to poor metabolising of estrogen and excessive levels in the blood. High levels of toxins in your blood are not good because these toxins live in fat cells. If your blood is flooded with toxins, then your body needs body fat to store them. It’s that simple.

If you can neutralise these toxins and detox, then you can instantly begin to encourage your body to shed body fat. The B-Fit 21 Day Weight Loss Plan is perfect for this so make sure you check it out here. It’s a great deep cleanse, and will help you shift excess lumpy fat.

Here’s my 4 other tips …

Tip 1 – Increase Cruciferous Vegetables 

Increase the amount of broccoli, cauliflower and green vegetables you eat. They are loaded with I3C, which is a naturally potent estrogen management agent. These foods will help cleanse the body and liver and in turn manage estrogen more efficiently. Also, consider supplementing with a good greens such as Liquid Chlorophyll.

Tip 2 – Supplement

Start using Liver Health. This will help process estrogen and reduce liver toxicity. Adding a multi vitamin and additional Vitamin C will also help further combat free radicals.

Tip 3 – Increase Healthy Fats

Fat helps the body produce testosterone and while you might think only men need it you are wrong. Any female in amazing shape will have healthy natural testosterone levels. By introducing more healthy fats, you can improve your estrogen to testosterone ratio. This will immediately help reduce body fat in those trouble areas. My favourites are raw coconut oil and Super Omega 3.

Tip 4 – Reduce Alcohol

On a weekend, I love a cheeky glass, who doesn’t? But alcohol is going to exacerbate your estrogen related fat storage issues. If your liver isn’t efficient and you have a lot of toxins floating around then dumping a load of alcohol in will add to the problems. Just exercise some moderation. If you are serious about this, then you are going to have to compromise. If you can’t, then forget it!

Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you struggle with losing fat from your thighs and bum? Any tips you’d like to tell me about?

Ping me back an email to gaynor@b-fit.uk.com I’d love to hear.

As always, please share this post with anyone you know needs help.

Love Gaynor x

PALEO BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNE

Craving lasagne? Why not create this tasty Paleo-friendly version using vegetables? This recipe uses slices of butternut squash to mimic the pasta and combined with a tangy tomato sauce and of course the mince it’s delish J And it won’t leave you feeling bloated and lethargic after eating. Result I say!!! The recipe serves 4 and takes approx 40 mins.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g organic beef or turkey mince
  • 2 red onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 500mls organic, no added sugar, tomato & basil sauce
  • 3 roasted red peppers
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Handful fresh basil
  • 1 small butternut squash

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Pre-heat oven to 220c
  • Brown the mince, and add the onions and garlic
  • Peel the squash, cut into thick slices like sheets of lasagne
  • In a blender, puree the tomato sauce, red peppers, oil and basil
  • In an oven dish, use tomato sauce to lightly cover the bottom
  • Spoon over some mince
  • Layer the squash evenly on top trying not to overlap
  • Repeat the layers until all ingredients used up
  • Reserve enough sauce to cover the top
  • Bake for 45 minutes
  • Leave to stand for 15mins to solidify
  • Serve with a green salad

HOW TO HEAL CANDIDA NATURALLY – PART 2

Hi Gorgeous

Hope you enjoyed last week’s post on “How To Heal Candida Naturally – Part 1”. If you missed it, no probs click here to catch up.

Did you know that yeast overgrowth or candida is a massive problem for those trying to lose weight? Yeast loves sugar. It feeds on it. It needs it to survive. Not only that, but candida overgrowth also leads to the release of the neurotoxin acetaldehyde (AH) also brought about by drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, AH messes up levels of dopamine in the brain which leaves us feeling lethargic, and low. When we’re low on dopamine we crave dopamine stimulating foods like chocolate and sugar. This leads to a high, then a crash, and then we crave more sugar fixes, and so the cycle continues.

Yeast infections also have a very clear effect on your mood. In the case of depression, the links with overgrowth of candida are clear. It drastically affects the production of the happy neurotransmitter, serotonin (95% is made in the gut and not in the brain) contributing to low levels and consequently low mood.

If your struggling to lose weight, suffer depression or mood ups and downs candida is certainly not something you should rule out!

As I said last week a balanced amount of it is healthy for your microbiome but the issue arises when it grows out of control due to poor lifestyle choices.

These poor lifestyle choices kill not just the bad bacteria but the good guys too. The friendly bacteria are there to help and improve your digestion, boost your immune system, produce useful vitamins and regulate hormones. When you kill of these friendly bacteria you leave yourself wide open to candida, and a multitude of health issues.

The most common factors that contribute to a lowered immune system and yeast overgrowth are:

  • Medication e.g. antibiotics, the pill
  • Environmental toxins
  • Chronic stress
  • Acidic Diet
  • Processed foods
  • Sugar and simple carbs
  • Wheat
  • Alcohol
  • Dehydration

To treat candida at a root cause level, you must address these underlying issues. Everything else is a temporary plaster job.

In part 3, we’re going to look at prevention and also how to treat yeast overgrowth naturally. Can’t wait to share it with you!!!

Love Gaynor x

VEGETABLE MINESTRONE

I harp on about the importance of greens and this Minestrone delivers just that. It also gives a huge nutritional punch for your pound as it’s cheap to make and serves 4 too!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 courgette finely chopped
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teasp dried thyme
  • 1 teasp dried basil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups savoy cabbage finely shredded with a knife
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Gluten-free bread to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat oil in a large pot
  • Add the onion, garlic, celery, and courgette
  • Sauté 10-15 mins until tender
  • Add the stock and chickpeas, herbs, salt and pepper
  • Simmer for 15 mins
  • Add cabbage and peas
  • Continue simmering for 10 mins
  • Serve the soup with the slice bread