Eat More, Weigh Less - have more sex!
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I thought that would get your attention! SH member
Gilly sets out the simple facts about his lifechanging
weight-loss - and how changing the way you eat
every day can create a healthier, fitter - and sexier - you.
Somehow, in recent years, we've got our
priorities all mixed up, and health and fitness
have been hijacked and turned into an
obsession with 'being slim' - but that's not
the be-all and end-all. These days it's all
lettuce, brown bread, starvation, 'no pain, no
gain' - and that's all wrong.
Look at it another way
You can be really skinny - and still be
unhealthy. My aim in this article is to change
your goal - don't change your everyday diet
to lose weight, but to get healthy. Having the
correct level of body-fat and an attractive
hip-to-waist ratio are plusses - perks, if you
like - of having a healthy lifestyle - not the
end in themselves.
I lost five stone (just under 32 kg) and
with it, ten inches (25 cm) off my waist -
and I did it because I wanted to be healthy.
I wanted to be a good father, and to be able
to play with my children without wheezing.
I didn't do it to have a beach-body and pose
around. And I can tell you how I did it - and
there are no miracle cures, no 'get-fit-in-30-
days' claims or magic diets.
A lifestyle to die for
The way we live, our stresses and pressures
and how we respond to them, all conspire to
turn out unfit people.We're always in a
hurry, so we resort to convenience foods, and
stress drives us to comfort-eating. There's
too much choice on the food shelves and the
manufacturers and processors make their
products 'taste nice' at the expense of being
good for us. If we want, we can give in to the
temptations - and not to is hard. I won't lie.
It's a sad fact, but it's now acknowledged
that today's bad dietary habits and
sedentary lifestyle are going to affect our
children so much that they may be the first
generation to die before their parents.
Why don't diets work?
Lots of people don't achieve the diet goals
they set for themselves because of all the
stresses, temptations and pressures I
mentioned before. If you understand this,
you're more likely to succeed - and it starts
with setting achievable goals. My weight loss
took me two years - so it's not been an
overnight fix by any means.
The first point for anyone wanting to
get healthy is not to go about it in a
mindless way. You're not going to solve your
weight problems by getting the latest 'in'
diet book or the newest fitness dvds. The
effort has to come from you.
We're facing meltdown when it comes
to our health and eating habits - and I'd say
it's due to the education system letting us
down. If you know about how different foods
affect you, you can make informed choices.
People don't understand food and its
relationship to their bodies. For instance, if I
were to ask people 'what makes you feel
hungry?' nearly everyone would say 'it's your
stomach being empty'. But that's not the
case - it's to do with the level of sugar in
your blood. If you want to be healthy, you
need to learn about food, and sort out your
priorities. It shouldn't be about being thin!
What 'fit and healthy' really means
It's widely acknowledged that having a toned
six-pack doesn't mean you're any healthier
than if you don't. It simply means that you
have a low body-fat ratio - the relative
proportion of fat to your total body weight.
Being fit and healthy in the true sense
means that you'll have more energy, a better
outlook on life, and a chance of avoiding a
good number of medical conditions - high
blood-pressure, cancer, diabetes, heart
disease and more - and this is a far greater
plus than having a 28-inch waist if you're a
man , or being a ladies' size 8. Having a
better body is the icing on the cake. Plus... to
keep you reading... you'll be more attractive,
and have loads more horny sex. It has
definitely worked for me!
The start of my journey
How did I lose weight? What set me off?
One day I was in a bookshop, picking up the
latest 'in' diet magazines and DVDs for my
wife, when I saw a book which simply offered
a basic plan for healthy
eating and exercise - and I bought it.
It explained, among other interesting
details, how we digest our food and how
what we eat affects our metabolic rate. I
started to learn how unhealthy eating habits
can lead to all those medical conditions I
mentioned earlier - and what I learned
changed my life.
The penny dropped. That old saying
'A moment on the lips - a lifetime on the
hips', is all too true.We all know that
chocolate, if not eaten in moderation, is bad
for us, but binge on it all the same. I LOVE
chocolate - but I know it's my arch nemesis.
It calls out to me when I see it, 'Eat me! Eat
me!' - and these days I resist, because I know
that giving in would just be the start of the
slippery slope. I, like most of us, I suspect,
had a 'live-now-pay-later' attitude to diet
and health - but the important word is 'had'.
At this point I want to stress that I eat
anything - I have no 'forbidden' foods -
because banning certain foods only makes
you crave them more. One day a week I pig
out - eat anything I want - but I still do it
within reason. I know I'll be exercising, so I
allow myself to eat some of those slightly
sinful foods, if I'm in the mood. I can do this
because I now have a healthy relationship
with food. I don't 'diet', and don't
recommend that you do - because if you 'go
on a diet', at some point you'll come off it.
You'll go back to the way you ate before and
the weight will creep back on
again. Instead, make permanent
changes and fix it at source.
What you need to know...
There's no quick fix, as I've said -
but I can give you a few tips and
tricks to get healthier more
quickly. It's all to do with the
science behind food. The following
are my top tips to increase your
overall well-being and boost your
energy. Once you grasp the basic
principles, I think you'll find it
easier to get healthy. And, if
you're overweight, you should see
a loss in body-fat as well.
The annoying question is,
'Why can some people eat so
much and never get fat?
Essentially, it's down to your basal
metabolic rate - which is how
many calories you burn per hour.
Your body burns calories all the
time, feeding your brain, muscles
and organs - the calories are the
fuel for your whole body. On
average, women burn ten and
men eleven calories per hour per
pound of their body weight - and that
constitutes 60 to 80 per cent of your daily
calorie usage. You can increase this rate in a
number of ways - one being exercise - and if
you speed up the rate at which you burn
calories, you'll lose weight, even when you're
sitting down doing nothing!
Another question is 'Why do I feel
hungry all the time?' You feel hungry when
your blood-sugar (glucose) dips below a
certain level - not because you've got
nothing in your stomach. Sure, you can feel
full when your stomach's full - and the
capacity of your stomach can dictate how
much you eat - but how much you have in
your stomach is not why you get hungry.
The Glycaemic Index
The GI (nothing to do with American
servicemen) is a scale which gives foods a
value in relation to how fast they turn into
sugar (glucose) in your blood. Ideally you
want to eat foods that release their energy
gradually, over a period of time - these foods
are low-GI - and the quick energy-rush foods
are high-GI. Because high-GI foods send
sugar into your bloodstream in a rush, your
insulin levels surge to regulate the sugar
level, and the body reacts to this excess
sugar by storing it as fat. All this combines to
deplete blood-sugar levels - so you start to
feel hungry again.
On the other hand, low GI foods release
their sugars and energy over a longer period
of time. There's no excess sugar to store as
fat, and your body doesn't have to produce
insulin to regulate the blood-sugar levels.
So, it makes sense to eat low-GI foods at,
say, three-hour intervals. This is the best way
to keep your insulin and blood-sugar levels
constant, and to prevent your body from
storing them as fat. It also increases your
ability to shed weight.
Golden rules - Number 1
Always eat breakfast! It's the most important
meal of the day. My mum always used to say
I should - but she could never explain to me
quite why - so I never did. But I'll go a step
further than my mother and give you a
reason. According to research by the
University of Massachusetts, you are 450 per
cent more likely to be obese if you don't eat
breakfast. Not eating breakfast simply screws
your body up for the day, as soon as you
wake up... and this is why.
You go to bed - and when you wake up,
your body hasn't been fed for ten hours or
maybe more. Even when you're asleep, you're
burning calories, so if you don't feed your
body shortly after you wake up, your bloodsugar
level will slump and your metabolism
will work less effectively. You are more likely
to crave more food than you need - foods of
a higher sugar-content - and this sort of
quick fix isn't good for you.
In addition, your body starts to react as
if there's a famine, and strips all the
nourishment it can out of the first meal you
have, then stores a lot of it as fat. Not a
good way to start the day. It's bad not to eat
breakfast. Here's some scientific support for
this - researchers at Bristol University found
that people who skip breakfast fumbled tasks
set for them later in the day. Quite simply,
they were lacking the glucose their brains
needed to function properly.
I could write a whole article on why you
should eat breakfast - so if you take only
one thing from my eat-healthy regime, eat
breakfast - but don't succumb to a naughty
Rule Number 2
Eat more! Incredibly, eating smaller meals
and more of them makes your metabolism
speed up. I eat six meals a day - so I fuel up
more or less every three hours, on around
300-400 calories, made up of low GI foods.
I have breakfast, lunch, a main evening meal
and three snacks in between. Believe me,
eating well doesn't mean dieting and
starving yourself. In fact, I eat more now, in
the number of meals and in bulk, than when I
was eighteen stone plus - but now I'm
fitter... and slimmer.
Eating more, smaller meals also helps tshrink your stomach, and over time you'll
probably eat less, even when you pig out.
Eating raises your metabolic rate - and by
eating low-GI foods you'll find that you don't
feel hungry between meals.
Rule Number 3
Learn about food! Read labels, read about
food and find out what calories, fat and GI
levels your food contains. Find out, too, how
many calories a day you should eat for your
lifestyle. Learning about food means you can
make informed choices, eat more satisfying
food, decrease your body fat and get
healthier. You'll be trimmer, feel fitter and
lay down the foundations to stay healthy
and avoid illness later in life. German
research has shown that eating two 100-gm
(4-ounce) portions a day of food rich in beta
carotene (spinach, carrots, apricots, beetroot
- mainly naturally highly-coloured foods) can
slash your risk of heart disease. You can cut
your heart-disease markers by up to 42 per
cent in just a month by following the simple
eating plan I've set out.
What's more, a low-carbohydrate diet
can cause bad moods. According to the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a diet
low in carbohydrates seriously lowers your
body's levels of serotonin - that's the body's
feel-good-boosting super-chemical [there's
more about this in our Orgasmic Diet book
review, page XX, Ed]. Another reason to eat a
healthy level of carbs.
If you learn about food, you can eat a
greater bulk for the same calories - so you
don't have to starve as you get trimmer. The
difference in calorie values can be vast -
even in the liquids we drink. Cranberry juice
with no added sugar contains six calories per
100 ml, apple juice from concentrate
contains 45 calories per 100 ml - so for
every two 250-ml glasses of apple juice, you
could have fifteen similar glasses of
cranberry. And, some reader participation -
check the difference between any brand of
fizzy drink and its 'diet' equivalent. Any cola
and its diet equivalent show how big the
difference can be. You'll be amazed.
Rule Number 4
Exercise! A safe level of exercise increases
your metabolism and burns calories - and,
because it boosts the feel-good endorphins
in your system, it's a great way of combating
depression and a major aid to achieving a
healthy body. Research has shown that just
thirty minutes of exercise (a day) is enough
to raise quite significantly the mood of
someone suffering from depression!
I'll be totally honest and own up that it's
sometimes a pain in the arse to go to the
gym - but I know it's worth it. I accept the
discipline and don't give myself any choice.
I can assure you, taking whatever level of responsibly worked-out exercise regularly can
make your body work so much better. The
benefits are substantial:
- Increase your metabolic rate
- Up your seratonin and feel good
- Perform better in bed - it goes
I could go on and on - the list is massive.
A last word
Is it all worth it if you're a swinger?
The answers are not quick, and you need
to exercise some personal discipline,
especially in the early stages, but if you
adjust your overall eating habits, you can feel
so much more vibrant and alive. A healthy
you feels better on the inside and looks
better outside - not just your waistline, but
your skin, hair and general appearance. That
in itself makes you more attractive
For men, certainly your new eating
regime and improved fitness and associated
weight loss will make you better in bed. You
perform harder and longer, and the increased
blood-flow may make your longer and harder
too! On a serious note, it may mean you live
longer and avoid ailments later in life if you
leave the path you are on now. A few tweaks
to what you eat now and you could be
water-skiing when you're seventy-five - as well as being the oldest and perhaps the
naughtiest swinger in town.
My final word is that,
research shows that
smoking takes, on
average, a centimetre
off penis length because
it constricts the bloodflow.
High & Low GI Foods
GI values - just a taster...
Foods only appear on the GI index if they contain carbohydrate - so
you won't find meat, eggs, cheese, fish, etc rated (sausages appear
because they contain flour!) The low-GI foods are good to include,
in every meal or snack; you can eat a few of the medium-GI list -
but limit the portion size if you want to lose weight. The high-GI list
foods are best substituted with lower-value ones - or eat them with
a low-GI one to reduce the GI value of your whole meal. The rating
after each item is its GI as a value out of 100.
Roast/salted peanuts, low-fat yogurt with sweetener 14; grapefruit,
pearl barley 25; dried apricots, butterbeans 3; apples, pears, canned
tomato soup 38; white spaghetti 41; bran cereal, canned chick peas,
peaches, porridge (made with water) 42; green grapes, orange juice
46; peas, baked beans 48; boiled carrots, milk chocolate 49; bananas,
raw oat bran, sweetcorn 55.
Muesli, boiled potatoes, sultanas 56; basmati rice, honey 58; cheese
and tomato pizza 60; couscous, rye bread 65; fresh pineapple 66;
melon, croissant 67; crumpets, wholemeal bread 69.
Mashed potato, white bread 70; watermelon, swede, bagels 72, bran
flake cereal 74; French fries 75; rice cakes 82; corn flakes 84; jacket
potato 85; French bread 95; boiled parsnips 97; steamed rice 98.