Vietnam War, Heroin and Diets

Vietnam War, Heroin and Diets

The Vietnam war caused outcry. The needless death and untold destruction on both sides. However the conflict ending brought a potential crisis back stateside- Heroin addiction among the soldiers. There was one main reason this never materialized. That same reason is also one of the key things that can make or break your diet.

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5 tips to stick with exercise this September

5 tips to stick with exercise this September

How are those New Years resolutions going?

…….

Well September offers another chance a redemption. But before you’ve decided to go hell for leather into a new fitness routine.

Here’s five quick tips that can help you stick with the gym this time round.

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Four Quick Tips For Drinking on a Diet

Drinkers Dilemma

Ahh Alcohol, the big conundrum.

How can you keep dropping fat while trying to drink everything?

From a dietary standpoint, alcohol can be complete disaster.

The calories alone are startling. I’ve included a little guide you can download here and print off showing the most common calories in alcohol.

It’s not just the alcohol calories themselves that throw off a diet. There’s also the big C’s

I’m talking

 

Crisps

Cheese

Chocolate

Chinese

Chipper

These become like crack cocaine on a night of drinking.

It’s not uncommon for a day of drinking to derail a week of dieting.

 

The ABC’s of dealing with Alcohol

If alcohol is affecting your current diet, the ABCD steps might help.

The ideal is to drastically reduce alcohol but in the interim, these four steps can help mitigate some damage.

 

ABCD Method

  1. A- Awareness

  2. B- Back on the horse

  3. C- Control Calories

  4. D- Decide healthier snacks


 

A)Awareness

How often is alcohol accompanied with some emotional moment?

Maybe the excitement of meeting a friend after work, or the feeling of relaxation having a couple of drinks after a long week of work.

The problem is these emotions stop us thinking straight.

Impulsive thoughts race through the mind at rapid speeds, rationalizing every single reason why you deserve to have all of this drink.

Before you submit to that impulse or emotion.

Before you buy six cans of beer and order a chinese.

Before you order another round of drinks that you didn’t want.

Slow down!

This is awareness. When you slow down. You give your logical brain a chance to catch up. That part of your brain that told you one drink will be enough tonight.

Emotion, excitement and impulses are like waves. Getting an impulse can feel near impossible to not act on.

What comes up must come down though. Taking a moment before acting impulsively can help you control yourself.

 

Slowing down and becoming aware.

 

Here’s a quick exercise when you get a huge craving or feel like you are not acting the way you would like in regards to alcohol and snacks

Immediately after you get the craving:

  1. Pause and recognise the impulse

  2. Take 5 breaths

  3. Set a timer of 15-20 mins.

  4. Try whatever it takes to last those 15-20 mins

  5. If the 20 mins passes and you still want the snack- go ahead and enjoy



 

B) Back on the horse

Having awareness and moderating yourself can be a powerful tool but it’s not foolproof

One drink can very easily lead to 10. If this happens, the only course of action is getting back on the horse as soon as possible.

To prevent a bad day of alcohol turning into a bad weekend, try everything in your power to get back to some normality the following day.

Try doing anything that resembles your healthy routine. This can be getting up at your regular time, getting some light movement, eating your usual breakfast/lunch.

 

C) Calorie Control

Moderation is that vague concept that very few people can follow.

If people always stuck to the correct units of alcohol, there wouldn’t be any need for this article.

Calories in alcohol are one of its major issues. From the alcohol list we can see that a standard heineken pint contains over 200 calories.

Very easily in a day, somebody could finish 6+ pints, totaling over 1200 calories.

1200 calories before you even think of eating a spicy take away.

This is why so many diets advocate clear alcohols like gin and vodka.

A vodka diet coke contains approximately 70 calories.

Compare that with 800 calories in some bottles of wine.


 

D)  Decide healthier snacks

The 1200 calories in the pints or the 1500 in the two bottles of wine can only be the start.

If only alcohol made people crave healthy saladsand protein snacks, a lot of kebab shops would go out of business very quickly.

Unfortunately that kebab and chips can set you back another 1500 calories bringing the total to 3000 calories.

 

That’s without other meals……..

 

By simply changing from a bottle of wine and chinese to gin and tonic and chicken curry,.

You take the calories from 3000 to less than 1000.

Losing weight can be a game of fine margins.

2000 extra calories every weekend can go a long way towards helping you drop body fat.



 

Trying out the ABC’s

 

Alcohol unfortunately is a big factor involved in fat loss.

The ABCD can help controlling the calorie/overeating side.

 

  1. Awareness- of what you are actually eating/drinking. And slowing down to control the binge

  2. Back on the horse- As soon as possible with any healthy routines from your weekday.

  3. Controlling Calories- Consider switching to the lower calorie options from the list

  4. Deciding healthier snacks - Whether that’s reducing the calories of your meal or switching out for lower calorie snacks

 

Try out these the next time you drink..

Let me know how you get on.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

If you like these quick tip articles then you would love my article 4 ways to deal with night time eating and 5 sneaky ways we destroy our diets.
























 

 

5 Stretches you need if you sit down all day

When I get somebody through the door in my gym. So often their lower back is killing them. 

Lower back pain has almost become a universal trait among humans with up to ⅓ of people suffering from pain at any given time.

Sitting has gotten an awful reputation lately as the cause of all our ills. From the pain in your back to diabetes, some people put your chair in the same category as smoking

But all debates aside, sitting does undeniably add tension that can stiffen up areas of the body.

Sitting also has a detrimental effects on the core. When the core isn't stabilizing the spine effectively it can put the lower back at extra risk.

This combination of muscles tightening and the core not supporting the spine can exacerbate lower back symptoms.

 

Overworked Muscles

Two areas in particular tend to take the brunt when you sit down. The area around the hips and the upper back.

The Hip.

I won’t bore you the major details but one of the main muscles around the hip is the hip flexor. This is the muscle that raise your leg 90 degrees or further for you flexible folk.

Hip Flexor.jpg

 

Desk jockeys end up spending most of their time in this sort of position. Prolonged sitting leaves these muscles chronically overworked can making them feel stiff and tight. 

From the anatomy picture you can see that the hip actually attaches on to the lower back. So when it feels cranky, it can work up the chain and create stiffness in the lower back too.

 

Upper Back.

The upper back, also called your thoracic spine is another area that becomes stiff and tight from prolonged sitting. 

This is because so much time is spent sitting in this position. 

adult-brick-wall-bricks-450276.jpg

 

Sitting all day in front of screens. This slumped over posture creates tension in the upper back area and neck.


In a slumped over position, these areas become stiff and immobile.

This stiffness in the upper back can make the lower back work harder because it must compensate from the lack of movement up the chain.

This creates even more of a problem for the upper back.

 

5 Stretches you need if you sit down all day
 

Here are five stretches you can perform everyday to help release the muscles in the hip and upper spine.

1) Pigeon Pose:

This exercise stretches the back of the hip, while the back leg stretches the front of the hip.

How to perform the pigeon

  1. Place one leg in front 90 degrees
  2. Keeping the movement isolated to the hip
  3. Begin to sit back into the hip.

Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds while taking deep breaths.

 

2) Hip Flexor Stretch

Everyday you’ll hear people who have been to the physio and been told they have “tight” hips. Its true that the hip flexors can become overworked and feel stiff after sitting down all day.

You should feel the following stretch in the front of that thigh area.

How to perform the hip flexor stretch:

  1. Place yourself with one leg 90 degrees on a raised surface.
  2. Keep the other leg aligned underneath the shoulder
  3. To create a greater stretch, squeeze the butt on the leg with the knee down.
  4. You can also drive your knee into the floor to add some extra stretch on the hip while working the hamstring

Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds while taking deep breaths.

 

3) Cat camel.

Because we spend so much time sitting, we can lose the awareness / proper control of our muscles.

The cat camel helps regain some control in the spine while also helping to lubricate the stiff spine after sitting for prolonged periods.

How to Perform the Cat Camel

  1. Start on fours with knees and arms on the floor.
  2. Imagine a string at the bottom of your spine
  3. Imagine that string at the very bottom of your spine.
  4. Imagine that string pulling one vertebrae up at a time all the way until you reach the neck.
  5. Once you reach the neck, begin to reverse the movement in the exact opposite way.

The cat camel is a fantastic way to let the lower back fully move without any excess strain.

Perform 20-30 reps after prolonged sitting.

 

4) Cobra Stretch

The cobra stretch is a fantastic stretch for reversing the hunched over posture the majority of people spend their waking lives..

The goal is not to hold the stretch for a prolonged period of time, but rather increase blood flow and lubricate the lower back.

How to perform the cobra stretch

  1. Starting lying on the ground with arms by your side.
  2. Proceed to lengthen the arms, raising the shoulder chest and stomach off the floor
  3. Just raise until arms are fully extended
  4. Once you feel the stretch, pause, take a deep breath and return to the starting position.

Perform 30-50 reps taking a deep breath at the top and lowering back down.

 

5) Yoga Plex

The yoga plex is a fantastic all round stretch that targets the hip on both sides, while also opening the upper back with the rotation. 

You also get some core activation in the push up position as your core needs to hold the lower back in position.

How to Perform the Yoga Plex

  1. Start in a push up position.
  2. Bring the right leg outside of the arm.
  3. Keep the heel down on this leg
  4. straighten the other leg by squeezing the bum
  5. Push the elbow against your knee on your right arm to stretch your groin
  6. Begin to rotate from the upper back.
  7. Finish off by lowering the arm back down and bringing the legs back to your push up position.

Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds while taking deep breaths.

 

Wrapping up

Every back injury will be unique so make sure you get checked out by your physio if you currently have an injury.

However sitting down for prolonged periods of time affects every-bodies muscles in a similar way.

These five stretches can help alleviate some of that stiffness from sitting all day..

Those 5 stretches

Are:

  1. Pigeon Pose

  2. Correct Hip Flexor Stretch

  3. Cat Camel

  4. Cobra stretch

  5. Upper Back Stretch

If you have any other issues regarding your fitness especially nutrition and diet. Don't hesitate to reach out and I will get back to you.