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How To Lose Your Beer Belly
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How To Lose Your Beer Belly

A beer belly used to be a mark of the great Australian larrikin. Someone who enjoyed a bit too much of all the good things that life had to offer. A loveable lout more concerned with having a good time with friends than worrying about his health. However, with increasing rates of obesity-related diseases killing men off in our thousands, plus increasing pressure on men to conform to a particular body  image, it is no longer 'OK' to be lugging that extra weight around your midriff section. Whilst we don't mean to suggest you should lose that beer belly to bow to societal pressures of what a man's body should look like, we do condone dropping excess body fat in the name of increasing your health and extending your life expectancy.  

3 Important Tips: Losing Your Beer Belly

 

1. Drink in moderation

Excessive alcohol can lead to midnight kebabs and $5 pizza slices (don't act like you don't know what we are talking about). However, alcohol consumption can have several other effects on our bodies that can hinder weight loss / contribute to weight gain. Firstly, alcohol can mess with our metabolism. Our livers are responsible for metabolizing fats to use them for energy. When we drink, our  livers are also workinghard trying to process and metabolise the alcohol we have just had. This can mean less of the fat we have eaten is used for creating energy. Further, many common mixers that we consume with alcohol contain high levels of processed sugar. This causes a very interesting problem - our body has an amazing ability to assess what food we need for energy production, and what food is excess. It will take that excess unused energy source and store them for later use in the form of body fat. This is particularly true for processed sugars in drink mixers - our body can only use so much of the huge amount of potential energy that the sugars provide, so most of it gets stored for later use in the form of body fat. This can cause weight gain.  

2. Exercise

That's right... there are no miracle cures for the beer belly. Combining a mix of cardiovascular (think jogging, swimming, aerobics classes) and resistance training (think bench press and squats) can produce the optimal mix of fat-burning exercise. Cardiovascular exercise (aim for 45 minutes at a time) forces your body to tap into it's fat stores to create the energy needed to complete that exercise. Resistance training, on the other hand, can help your body use up more energy for hours after you leave the gym. Weight training can leave your metabolism high and your body using alot of the food you eat to repair itself. Furthermore, a person with higher muscle mass uses more energy in a day than a similar person with less muscle mass, meaning adding some muscle mass can help turn more of the food you eat each day into energy energy rather than fat.  

3. Overhaul your diet

Chances are if you have a beer belly then your diet may be more to blame than beer itself. Consider a complete overhaul of your diet, and try the following tips:
  • Reduce your portions – no need to feel bloated after every meal.
  • Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water, spread throughout the day. Proper hydration is a key prerequisite to help you metabolise food.
  • Cut down on sugary, fatty, fried and processed food (white bread, chips, pizza, fast food, cool drinks, chocolate bars, cake, etc.).
  • Eat more wholegrain cereals, breads and pastas rather than their white alternatives. Wholegrain foods release their energy more slowly, meaning less chance they will be stored as fat by your body.
  • Eat more raw and fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Choose lean, low-fat meats and grill or roast rather than fry them.
  • Eat five balanced, smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large ones – it’ll improve your metabolism.
  • Eat more soluble fibre (unpeeled apples, oats, cherries etc.). It iwll help you feel fuller for longer.
 

What about Fat Burning Supplements?

All we can say is "Buyer Beware". There are some products - such as our SlimRight Green Coffee Bean and SlimRight Metabolift products - that can aid weight loss and fat metabolism when used in conjunction with good diet and exercise. At the same time, there are other products whose only weight loss effect is emptying your wallet. If you are going to try a metabolism boosting supplement, try to protect yourself from fraudsters by buying Australian products from Australian retailers rather than buying overseas brands online. Overseas products are not as heavily regulated as Australian products, and their quality and efficacy cannot be guaranteed. The tight regulatory guidelines Australian weight loss products must comply with helps protect consumers.   Looking to drop a few kilograms? Check out our range of products to help weight management.
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Key Nutrients For Pregnancy
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Key Nutrients For Pregnancy

Good nutrition can help ensure your child's development and well-being well before your child is conceived, believe it or not. If you are trying for a baby or are already pregnant, there are a handful of key nutrients for pregnancy to support both your health and the health of your child.

Key Nutrients For Pregnancy

It is important to eat a wide variety of foods during pregnancy, and the amount of food you need to eat will increase. Your baby will be the first one to tell you this - you can expect to have an increase appetite  as the pregnancy. Gaining some 'baby weight' (that is, additional body weight, not the weight of the baby) is also normal. You can expect to gain between 11 to 18 kg of baby weight during pregnancy. If you feel like weight gain during your pregnancy has become extreme or is a problem, talk to your doctor... dieting during pregnancy can be harmful to both you and your baby, so a professional's advice is important. For an in-depth look at diet during pregnancy, visit the Victorian Government's Better Health Channel's article on the topic. Let's take a closer look at the key nutrients you should be aware of during pregnancy.  

 1. Folate / Folic Acid

Folate (also 'folic acid') is one of the B vitamins. It is important during pregnancy as it can help with neural development and protect your unborn child against neural tube defects. 400mg a day is the recommended amount. Brocoli, asparagus, lentils, spinach and citrus fruits are all high in folate / folic acid.  

2. Iron

Your iron requirements increase during pregnancy, because your baby is also drawing on your intake of food sources of iron. During pregnancy, your recommended daily intake of iron rises from 18mg a day pre-pregnancy to 27mg a day during pregnancy (source : NRV.gov.au). Iron deficiency is common during pregnancy and iron supplements may be necessary. However, consult a doctor before starting an iron supplement, as too much iron can be harmful to mum and bub. Note: the iron content of some foods is reduced by cooking. Steaming vegetables for the minimum amount of time possible helps it retain it's iron content. Lean beef, chicken, eggs, berries and lentils are all good sources of dietary iron during pregnancy.  

3. Iodine

Iodine deficiency is increasing in Australia. In adults, iodine deficiency can lead to thyroid problems. In infants, the effects of iodine deficiency is much more severe, causing moderate to severe developmental problems in unborn children and infants. Iodine can be found in 'iodised' table salts. Fish is a good food source of iodine, yet eating fish during pregnancy should be approached with caution. Many fish types contain higher trace levels of heavy metals like mercury than others. Mercury can be harmful to a baby. Furthermore, eating raw fish or semi-raw fish should be avoided during pregnancy.... cooked fish only. Increase consumption of dairy products, which are typically rich in iodine. Talk to your doctor about whether an iodine supplement is required.  

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The huge number of benefits from adequate omega-3 consumption are well documented. One type of omega-3 in particular called 'DHA' (docosahexaenoic acid) is important for mental development of unborn babies. Studies show that babies born of mothers who had high blood levels of DHA during birth had accelerated mental development compared to babies born from mothers with low DHA blood levels. Best food sources of DHA include seafood and marine algae. Vegetable sources of omega-3 such as chia seeds and flaxseeds are often recommended to increase omega-3 intake for pregnant women, but these contain a different type of omega-3 (ALA) that does not appear to have the same link to brain development. An omega-3 DHA supplement may also be a good idea.  

Final Tip

Your doctor should become like your best friend during pregnancy. Whilst you will receive advice from nearly everyone you know, the best person to turn to for advise on nutrition and/or supplements during pregnancy is your doctor. ----- This article was provided by our online health partner Health365. For more information on women's health, visit www.health365.com.au.  
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