Coffee – Good or Bad?

Winter is a time when we all look to the local coffee shop for some much needed energy and a quick ‘pick-me-up’. It is also a meeting place and an opportunity to catch up with family or friends and be able to sit, relax and talk. But is coffee considered positive or negative when it comes to weight loss?

Over the years we have heard the reports telling us to stay away from caffeine, because it is classified as a drug. Yet there has not been one single study or test that has proven coffee or caffeine has a connection to any heart condition or other medical problem. Drinking 2 cups of coffee per day could possibly cause a rapid heart beat in a small percentage of people and could temporarily raise their body temperature.

A few of you regularly drink a cup of coffee prior to your workout to help reduce body fat. The caffeine in the coffee helps boost endurance by prolonging fatigue and therefore helps to burn greater amounts of stored body fat. However, this will only apply if the coffee is consumed on an empty stomach.

Where people get it wrong is that they eat a meal prior to a workout which is often high in carbohydrate. By adopting this principle they are negating the effects of the workout and the benefits of the caffeine ’hit’. This results in no movement at all in their scale weight and/or body fat percentage. By simply avoiding the meal and consuming the coffee on an empty stomach they dramatically increase the total fat being burnt during exercise.

Other benefits of caffeine include:

  • Improvements to long term memory
  • Stimulates bowel movements
  • Being a natural diuretic

It is vitally important that plenty of water is consumed when drinking caffeine to flush out the associated toxins.

The only proven negative effect of caffeine has been found in unfiltered coffee beans. Unfiltered beans have compounds that could possibly raise blood cholesterol by as much as 20 points. Be sure to stay away from coffee that is made in a French press. Whilst many claim the flavour is better, it is clearly not healthy and should be avoided. Drink only filtered coffee!!

A couple of other interesting facts include:

  • 1 shot of expresso has less caffeine than a regular coffee
  • 1 cup of tea can often have just as much, if not more caffeine than regular coffee
  • 1 cup of coffee can enhance your alertness and concentration levels

So go ahead and enjoy your coffee. Moderation is the key and if weight loss is your desired goal keep this information at the forefront of your mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Weighty Issue!

CHILDHOOD OBESITY HAS BECOME A SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEM IN TODAYS SOCIETY.

Childhood obesity in Australia is rising at an alarming rate

There is no doubt that modern technology is having an impact on the health of the community.

People find taking the car to be a far easier option than walking reasonably short distances, and no body gets out of their seat anymore to change the TV channel?

Unfortunately, it’s our children who are suffering because of these attitudes – or at least they will later in life.

Childhood obesity is fast becoming one of our nation’s biggest health problems. Figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that seven­and-a-half million Australians are obese or overweight. Further figures indicate that 65 per cent of the population will be overweight by the year 2020.

Childhood obesity is also rising at an alarming rate; in less than 20 years, there has been an increase in diagnosis from 10 to 30 per cent. Couple this with the fact that overweight or obese children have a high chance of progressing to adult obesity, and our nation will no doubt continue to climb the list of being the fattest in the world (Australia currently sits within the top five fattest countries).

WHY IS IT SO?

Although there are many factors to take into consideration, there has been a marked decline in children’s physical activity during the last decade. Wide-ranging technological, social ,economic and environmental changes have compounded the growing health problem; for instance, TV programs, computer games and ipads have replaced traditional playtime activities.

Another contributing factor to childhood obesity is the increasing consumption of high fat/high energy foods. This has caused an imbalance between the amount of energy consumed and the amount of energy expended, which in turn leads to an unhealthy weight and fat gain.

LIFESTYLE

In an attempt to counteract this epidemic, schools are changing their canteen menu and sporting policies, but ultimately it is the responsibility of parents to ensure children have a balanced nutrition and exercise plan in place.

There are certain exercise and nutrition guidelines that can be implemented to help reduce the child obesity rate.

In relation to physical activity:

• Children should exercise every day, in as many different ways as possible. Activities could include swimming, ball sports, or bicycling – any activity that they enjoy.

• Encourage children to participate in a given sport in both winter and summer.

• Incorporate family exercise into your children’s routine.

• Discourage sedentary activities such as playing video and computer games, using the Internet, or watching TV.

• Encourage ‘incidental exercise’ such as walking to the shops or taking the stairs instead of using the escalator.

HINTS FOR HEALTHY EATING

When it comes to nutrition, it is important for children to:

· Eat a balanced diet;

· Be encouraged to eat breakfast (the most important meal of the day!);

· Eat fruit and/or vegetables as a snack instead of fatty or sugary foods;

· Try to eat meals in a family atmosphere;

· Let food settle in their stomach before deciding on a ‘seconds’ helping;

· Limit the amount of soft drink consumed, and encourage drinking water instead;

· Discourage snacking to alleviate boredom;

· Avoid using food as a reward; and

· Make dietary changes subtle and slow.

There are numerous health risks associated with childhood obesity. Children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are more likely, in the short term,to develop gastrointestinal, endocrine, and orthopedic problems. In the longer term, they are more likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and are at greater risk of premature death.

Why subject children to these problems when the answer is simple?

Be active, eat well, and live a longer happier life.