Six steps to take before you try to lose weight

Posted on 18 December 2014
Six steps to take before you try to lose weight

When we think of losing weight we tend to follow the formula of healthy eating (or in some cases a more restrictive diet) drinking more water, and doing more exercise. While each of these factors plays an important role in weight loss, they aren't the only factors that can impact your ability to lose weight.

To help you maximise your weight loss, achieve good health and ensure your motivation doesn't suffer due to limited results, here are six steps to follow before you try to lose weight.

1. See your doctor first

It's a good idea to see your doctor before going on starting your weight loss journey. Restricted diets can have an effect on underlying health issues so it is important you have an accurate idea of your health before you start.

Request a full blood test and get your blood pressure checked. Ask your Doctor to check your good and bad cholesterol levels, hormones, thyroid, Vitamin D levels and blood glucose all tested. Anyone of these can impact your ability to lose weight and determine what foods you need to keep in your diet.

2. Manage your stress

While occasional stress is manageable, as we know high stress over the long term can have significant effects on your health. It can increase weight gain and affect your ability to lose it.

You have no doubt heard of the 'flight or fight' response that is triggered by stress. This results in an increase in the hormone cortisol that makes the body resist weight loss. With its purpose being to give us more energy, it will increase appetite and hold onto the fat we have, particularly around the abdominal area where more cortisol receptors are found.

Stress also reduces the hormone leptin that regulates the amount of fat stored in the body, also increasing the amount of fat your body stores. Pretty good incentive to relax isn't it! To help you here are some tips to help you minimise stress.

3. Find out if you have a vitamin D deficiency

Research has shown that Vitamin D and leptin work together to regulate body weight. Vitamin D keeps leptin at an optimal level, ensuring your body signals when it is full. When you are deficient the signal is disrupted, and the body no longer knows it is full leading to overeating and weight gain.

Your Vitamin D levels are easily identified in a blood test and can be increased by having 20-25 minutes in the sun daily or through eating fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver, some mushrooms and supplements.

4. Understand the effect of hormones and weight gain

Hormones can have a huge effect on weight gain because they affect how our body responds. Leptin, insulin, and our sex and growth hormones influence our appetite, metabolism and body fat distribution.

Oestrogen dominance can cause weight gain specifically around the abdomen. The more oestrogen there is, the more fat cells grow.  With fat cells also producing more oestrogen, levels can keep increasing.

In the same way, if you have an underactive thyroid you can also have weight gain. The thyroids main function is to produce hormones that regulate the body's metabolism so when it doesn't produce enough hormones it slows down your metabolism and increases the fat stored in your body.

5. Work on insulin sensitivity

Insulin plays a number of roles in the body's metabolism. It regulates how the body stores and uses glucose and fat and makes it possible for glucose to enter your body's cells.

If there is sensitivity to insulin it can mean the body is having difficulty metabolising glucose, and it can affect the body's ability to control carbohydrates, starches, fats and proteins. It can also cause underlying health issues like diabetes, so it is important to be aware of.

6. Reduce inflammation

As you gain weight you don't grow more fat cells, the ones you have grow larger. When this happens there is a reaction in the body with various hormones and immune cells as the body tries to correct the imbalances, and some of the anti-inflammatory chemicals released can interfere with the function of leptin.

This can result in a leptin sensitivity and it doesn't do its job of suppressing appetite and speeding up  the metabolism. The good news is as the weight is lost the resistance to leptin decreases, and it can go back to its normal function. A diet rich with dark berries such as cherries and blueberries, fatty fish, whole grains and dark leafy vegetables can help reduce inflammation.

Food intolerances and allergies also increase inflammation, so it is important to look at the different foods you are eating and trying an elimination diet to see if symptoms reduce or disappear.

Posted in: Wellbeing Weightloss Healthy Eating Diet Health  

What you need to know about Lyme disease

Posted by Rita Texeira on 20 November 2014
What you need to know about Lyme disease

When you mention Lyme disease (Multiple Systemic Infection Disease Syndrome) you are met with either blank stares, or a multitude of misconceptions including that the disease doesn't exist in Australia. 

With so many myths surrounding this condition, we wanted to bring you the facts to dispel this confusion and bring awareness of a condition that is so often overlooked and misdiagnosed. 

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme Disease is called the 'Great Imitator' as it mimics many other diseases such as MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, Parkinson's disease, Motor Neurone Disease (ALS), Fibromyalgia, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and more. It can affect any organ in the body including muscles and joints, the heart, gastro-intestinal system and the neurological system (including the brain) and it's four times more prevalent than AIDS.

Although Lyme disease was officially identified in 1975 in the Town of Lymes (USA), it was recognised in Europe much earlier.  It's an infection caused by a Spirochete (Borrelia Burgdorferi bacteria) transmitted from the bite of ticks infected with this bacteria.  Borrelia has at least 18 different species.  

While it is commonly believed that ticks are responsible for human infection, there is now strong evidence suggesting that other 'biting' organisms can also cause infection.  As well as Lyme Disease, ticks can transmit other diseases (co-infections) such as Babesioisis, Bartonella, Ehrlichiosis, and Mycoplasma to name a few.

Symptoms to look out for

Symptoms present themselves in various stages.  They may be constant or intermittent and usual treatments are not effective.  If not properly treated at the earlier stages it may lead to chronic lifelong disabilities.

Initial symptoms begin with the development of an itchy rash (erythema migrans) appearing after the tick bite and this rash then spreads out to form a bulls-eye pattern.  This pattern, which may also appear on other parts of the body, is a distinctive characteristic of Lyme disease. In some instances there may not be any symptoms or they may only appear weeks or months later and be mistaken for the flu. Be aware of any unexplained headaches, fatigue, neck and muscle soreness or fever during this time that is aided with normal medication.

Later symptoms of Borrelia infection may include arthritic type symptoms such as swelling, circulation problems, joint pain, paralysis (temporary) of facial muscles, shortness of breath, numbing and weakness in your hands arms and feet.  Memory loss, respiratory problems and meningitis may also occur weeks, months and sometimes years later, after an infection, if not treated.  This stage is also known as 'chronic Lyme disease'.

Some other co-infections, which may present are Babesia Infection, with the main symptoms being fatigue, neck and back stiffness and Bartonella infection produces more neurological symptoms (like MS).

What treatments are available?

It's important that you seek treatment as soon as possible.  Write down any symptoms you have and make your medical practitioner aware of the possibility of Lyme disease so that proper tests can be carried out.  While infections can hide within cells and are not always detected in a blood (serum) test, a urine test can detect infections.

The best test to confirm Lyme disease is to undergo a challenge test. Resolve Health and Wellness is a practice that is Lyme disease 'literate'. As Lyme disease can present in individual ways we take a very personalised and holistic approach. We focus on nutrition, supplement with herbals and also use Bioresonance Therapy, a non-invasive, gentle therapy that uses biophysics - the physics of your body, to improve your overall immunity.

When it comes to treatment, antibiotics are often prescribed with different antibiotics required for each infection. This can deplete an already damaged immune system and many patients also need gut repair and an extensive detox, to recover from a cocktail of prescriptions.

Are you concerned about Lyme disease or have any questions you need answered? Call us today on (07) 5525 2211.

Posted in: Wellbeing Building Your Immune System Lyme Disease Chronic Infections Health  

Could you be suffering from a food addiction?

Posted by Rita Texeira on 23 October 2014
Could you be suffering from a food addiction?

Often when we think of additions smoking, alcohol and illegal drugs come to mind. But some of the most common addictions can be found in our daily diet, and they can be doing your body serious damage.

With eating being such a normal activity it's hard to believe people can become addicted to food. Yet the cycle of addiction can still take over, making everyday life a constant struggle because of the effect it has on the brain.

Since the first step to overcoming an addiction is to acknowledge there is a problem, here is a list of the common foods, substances and habits that can be addictive and destructive to your health.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system, and it can make you feel more alert by blocking the message that tells your brain you are tired. An often sought after effect in our overcommitted and overscheduled lives. 

While many people find the effects of caffeine enjoyable, for some, it can induce anxiety, depression, restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, and muscle tremors.  The addictive nature of caffeine is evidenced by the effects of withdrawal such as headaches, changes in mood and sleeplessness.

To determine if you are addicted, look at how regular you are having caffeine and why you are having it. For example, do you have a morning coffee as a ritual or are you having multiple cups daily to help you get through the day?

2. Sugar

Sugar can be extremely addictive, and consuming a lot of high sugar foods can actually change an individual's brain chemistry to the extent that they can experience withdrawal symptoms if they don't keep eating them.

The taste of sugar releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and offer a natural "high”. While a little bit of sugar is fine, too much can be detrimental to our health and these days with so much sugar included in foods it can be harder to know if you are having too much.

One way of knowing if you are becoming addicted to sugar is by needing a “quick fix” to get you over the afternoon slump each day or when you find you are starting to crave it.

3. Energy drinks

Energy drinks are becoming very popular particularly with younger people. While they are advertised as aids to increase energy, concentration and alertness, they contain three to five times more sugar than ordinary soft drinks.

With ingredients such as caffeine, sugar, taurine (increases the effect of caffeine) and guarana (acts as a stimulant and increases the metabolic rate), the overuse of energy drinks can have similar effects as caffeine with effects on the heart being a real concern. Over consumption of these drinks can prove a real threat to health.

4. Additives

Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavour or enhance its taste and appearance, and they are added to most of the food we consume.

While some additives are natural, many more are artificial. Being manufactured they can produce allergies or other health risks for others. Some additives have been found to increase children’s levels of hyperactivity and some colours have been found to be problematic to children.

Other reactions can include hives, diarrhoea and other digestive disorders and for some a more serious reaction that affects the respiratory system such as asthma.

This is why we are being warned to read the labels and identify what additives (colouring, flavour enhancers, acids, stabilisers, sweeteners etc.) are in the food we buy and eat.

5. Fatty Foods

More and more research is showing that fast food as well as highly processed food can be addictive. The fats and simple sugars can act on the brain in the same way as nicotine and heroin. The ongoing stimulation to tasty calorie-filled foods may in some cases desensitise the brains wiring.

Scientists are finding that just like drug taking, it takes more of the fatty foods to provide the same “high” because it can cause changes to the brain and the body that sends the message it needs more.

Although sugars and fats have been in our food for a long time, processed food has concentrated levels of fats and sugars without the fibre or nutrients so there is no healthy balance.

So, maybe it’s time to revaluate some of your food choices and eating habits to make sure it is for the right reason and not due to an underlying addiction?

Posted in: Wellbeing Nutrition Healthy Eating Diet Health  

Six detoxing tips to keep you at your best

Posted by Rita Texeira on 9 October 2014
Six detoxing tips to keep you at your best

With an endless amount of stressors that affect our health today, from chemical additives and colours in our food and drinking water, to toxic metals, pesticides, chemicals, plastics, environmental toxins, radiation and more, our bodies can quickly become overrun with toxins.

These toxins cloud our system; they make us tired, fatigued and more susceptible to allergies, sickness and over time, disease. To prevent this from happening and to help your body function more effectively and efficiently, regular detoxing is essential.

To get you started, here are six detoxing tips to get you feeling your best and your body working at its best.

1. Drink warm water with freshly squeezed lemon each morning

Start each day with a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice in warm purified water. It aids digestion, enhances liver detoxification, cleanses your system, boosts your immune system, balances your pH levels and aids in weight loss among other benefits. Don’t throw away the peel either, add the zest to salads and other meals to further the detoxification process.

2. Skip the coffee and switch to green tea

Loaded with antioxidants, green tea will help neutralise toxins in your body. With a small level of caffeine, it will also help you manage those tough coffee withdrawals while you are detoxing.

3. Add more naturally detoxing foods to your diet

There are so many fruits, vegetables and “superfoods” that have incredible detoxing benefits. Almonds, avocado, artichokes, beets, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, chlorella, cranberries, lemon, garlic, onion, radishes, spirulina, and seaweed are all excellent detoxifying foods to add into your diet.

4. Drink at least two litres of purified water each day

Water is vital for our body’s health and wellness. Among its many health benefits, water helps your body flush out toxins and allows your cells to take in nutrients and expel waste products – so drink up!

5. Add fresh herbs to your meals

Add some fresh coriander, dandelion root, burdock, fennel and milk thistle to your meals, not only do they have excellent detoxing qualities, they’ll give your food great flavour.

6. Get some exercise

While there are conflicting views on whether exercise does help with the detoxifying process, exercise is proven to prevent many life-threatening conditions, improve your muscle strength and joint function, boost oxygen and nutrient supply to all the cells in your body and expel toxins through sweating. For this reason it’s certainly a good idea to add exercising into your detox program.

Do you detox regularly? Have you found its made a big difference?

Posted in: Detox Wellbeing Building Your Immune System Nutrition Healthy Eating Diet Fertility Health Cold and Flu  

Is the cure for your child's behaviour in their diet?

Posted by Rita Texeira on 22 September 2014
Is the cure for your child's behaviour in their diet?
With an increase in the diagnosis of behavioural and learning difficulties like ADHD, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and CD (Conduct Disorder) and an increase in processed and packaged foods, it’s hard to look past the fact that these two may be linked.

More and more research is suggesting that allergies and intolerances play a large role in children’s behavioural problems. To ensure you are informed, here are some of the common foods and food habits that might be causing behavioural issues in your children.

1. Sugar

Sugar is a given. While you may limit the intake of sugary foods like chocolate, ice cream, cakes and soft drinks, what many parents don’t realise is that sugar is a common ingredient in many other foods children have on a regular basis. Fruit juices, some cereals and many packaged kids snacks all contain high amounts of sugar.

While the obvious behavioural reaction to sugar is hyperactivity, it can also cause children to become irritable, angry and tired.

2. Additives, preservatives and colouring

With so many additives, preservatives and colours being added to the foods we eat, these can often be harder to avoid then sugar. This is why it pays to read the label of the food you are buying, particularly when it comes to snacks for your children. If you can’t understand what you are reading chances are it will be an additive or preservative.

Research has shown additives can cause hyperactivity, irritability and learning difficulties in children, affecting their ability to concentrate.

3. Salicylates

Salicylates are chemicals that occur naturally in most fruits, particularly oranges, berries, apricots rockmelons and plums. They also occur in vegetables such as corn, tomato, gherkins, button mushrooms, radishes, olives, capsicums and cucumber. As well as wheat, milk, soy, eggs, chocolate, dried fruits, honey, liquorice, peppermints and chewing gum.

Salicylates have been known to create intolerances and can cause irritability and restlessness.

4. Skipping meals

This destructive food habit can have a huge impact on a child’s behaviour, particularly if it is breakfast.

With most children sleeping for 10-12 hours this is a long fast without food. Blood sugars can be depleted and with limited energy, they can become irritable, tired, disruptive and moody, not to mention struggle to concentrate. Breakfast and regular eating corrects this and helps the body to function properly.

5. Allergies and intolerances

While we often associate rashes, digestive issues and anaphylactic shock with allergies and intolerances, symptoms can also show through behaviour. A food allergy or intolerance upsets the system of the sufferer, which also changes their behaviour.

The real challenge is though with many of the foods and habits causing similar behavioural reactions it can be hard to know which one is the true cause, or at least a contributing factor.

The only way to really discover which chemicals or foods could be responsible is to do an elimination diet, and speak with your medical practitioner to organise allergy testing.
That frustrating behaviour might be a quicker fix than you thought!

Have you found certain foods set off certain behaviours in your children?

Posted in: Wellbeing Food Allergy Food Intolerance Tiredness Allergies Children Children's Behavior Healthy Eating Diet Health  

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