Winter exercise tips

As the days draw in and temperatures drop, you may be tempted to hang up your exercise gear and hibernate.

Don’t! Stay active throughout autumn and winter to beat those seasonal blues and feel on top of the world.

And if you’re not keen on exercising outdoors, check out this 10-minute home exercise routines:

6-minute warm-up
10-minute home cardio workout
10-minute home toning workout
10-minute legs, bums and tums home workout

Stretching after exercising

If you’re looking for something less energetic, these exercises for older people are ideal if you want to improve your health, lift your mood and remain independent.
Don’t worry if you’ve not done much for a while, these exercises are easy, gentle to follow and can also be done indoors.
More energy

Regular exercise will make you feel more energetic, which should make it a little easier to get out of your warm bed on cold, dark mornings.

Your body’s defences will also benefit. There is some limited research suggesting that moderate exercise can strengthen the immune system, thereby reducing the risk of coughs and colds. However, more research is needed in this area.

If the shorter days are affecting your mood, being active can improve your sense of wellbeing.

You may be tempted to eat more during the colder months. Exercising will help you manage your weight better and keep your body in shape.

Get tips on eating a healthy balanced diet and taking regular exercise to maintain a healthy body weight.
Warm up

If you’re starting a new exercise regime, don’t overdo it. Slowly build the amount of exercise you do. If you can’t manage 30 minutes in one go, break it up into 10-minute chunks.

Always warm-up for up to 10 minutes before you start. Walk at a brisk pace, or jog in order to warm your muscles.

Make sure you’re warm if you’re going outside. Wear several layers to keep the heat in.
A lot of heat escapes through your head, so consider wearing a hat as well.
Stay safe

If you’re exercising after dark, keep to well-lit areas and wear bright and reflective clothing. Ideally, exercise with a friend, but always tell someone where you’re going.

Avoid listening to music while running outdoors. Not hearing what’s going on around you can make you vulnerable

If rain or ice is making exercise dangerous, do it another day. The weather might be better tomorrow, but an injury could take weeks to heal.

I

Choose an activity that you enjoy. Now might be the time to try something new that you can do indoors, such as:

archery
badminton
bowls
cycling
dancing
curling
fencing
fitness classes
five-a-side football
handball
judo
pilates
racketball
squash
swimming
table tennis
tai chi
yoga

You could take a long walk at the weekend or go for a bike ride. Just wrap up warm and be careful if it’s wet or icy. Get tips on walking for health.

If being outside when it’s windy, raining or snowing doesn’t appeal, rent a fitness video and try doing some exercise at home.

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Sleep diet and exercise

Even the best efforts to count calories, cut down on fat, and exercise can leave you falling short of your goals when you don’t have good sleeping habits. Poor sleep can make it harder for you to lose weight and may intensify cravings for your favorite comfort foods. Besides, without enough rest, you won’t have the energy to exercise.

Healthy sleep is closely related to other healthy lifestyle factors, like exercise and diet, and plays a huge role in helping you stay mentally and physically energetic and healthy.

The Importance of Sleep, Exercise, and Diet

Good sleep habits and a healthy lifestyle — eating right and exercising — work together in a cyclical fashion. “A healthy lifestyle promotes sleep and, at the same time, adequate sleep also helps promote a healthy lifestyle,

Think about it. You need to be well rested to have the energy for a workout. And regular exercise can help to manage your stress levels and tire you out so that you sleep well at night. Being physically active also encourages you to make other healthy lifestyle choices. Just be sure to exercise no later than a few hours before bedtime so that you aren’t all revved up when you should be winding

Your eating habits are also connected to sleep. Eating a large meal just before bedtime can affect your quality of sleep. And not getting enough healthy sleep can trigger food cravings. “There is some preliminary data that shows that shortened sleep will increase your craving for carbohydrates and lead to weight gain,. So when you find yourself giving in to your pizza craving, you might try getting more sleep.

Sleep’s Impact on Overall Health

In addition to helping you manage your weight, getting healthy sleep (along with exercising and eating a healthy diet) can help you:

Prevent and manage a number of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease
Boost your energy levels
Increase alertness and improve concentration and memory
Manage stress levels

“Getting inadequate sleep by itself is a cause of stress on the body,” . Sleep deprivation boosts your body’s stress hormones. And if you can’t cope with stress, your sleep will suffer.

So ask yourself these questions: Are you getting enough sleep — between seven and eight hours each night? And is it healthy sleep — do you feel rested each morning when you wake?

Sleep works together with exercise and diet to keep your mind and body healthy, and for a healthy lifestyle, you need to practice all three — it’s hard to succeed in any one part of the puzzle without fitting in the other two.

12 diet tips

1. Don’t skip breakfast

Research shows that eating breakfast helps you control your weight. Some people skip breakfast as they think it will help them loose weight but missing meals doesn’t help us lose weight and isn’t good for us because we can miss out on essential nutrients. It could also encourage us to snack more throughout the day because you feel hungry’.

2. Eat regular meals

Some people think missing meals will help them lose weight, but it has been shown that eating regularly during the day helps to burn calories at a faster rate as well as reduce the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.

3. Eat plenty of fruit and veg

Fruit and veg are low in calories and fat and high in fibre – three essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.

4. Get more active

Studies show that regular activity is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing numerous health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you can’t cut through diet alone. Find an activity you enjoy and are able to fit into your routine.

5. Drink plenty of water

People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need. You should aim to drink about six to eight glasses (1.2 litres) of fluid, preferably water, every day – or more if it’s warm or you’re exercising.

6. Eat high-fibre foods

Foods containing lots of fibre will keep you feeling full for longer, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, beans, peas and lentils.

7. Read food labels

Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options, and keep a check on the amount of calories, fat, salt and sugars you eat. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan. Find out more about reading food labels.

8. Use a smaller plate

Studies show that people who use smaller plates tend to eat smaller portions and still be satisfied. By eating with smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.

9. Don’t ban foods

Don’t ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.

10. Don’t stock junk food

To avoid temptation, avoid stocking junk food, such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks, at home. Instead, stock up on healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn and fruit juice.

11. Cut down on alcohol

Did you know a standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate, and a pint of lager has about the same calorie count as a packet of crisps? Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.

12. Plan your meals

Plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. Try to plan for four to seven days’ worth of meals and snacks. Make a shopping list, but don’t shop when you’re hungry as that can lead to high-calorie impulse buys!

Beach body diet tips and more

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If you stick to this simple plan you could lose up to a stone and drop a dress size in time for summer

After what felt like the longest, coldest winter for years the sunshine finally made an appearance last week.

But packing away those coats and hats means one thing – it’s almost bikini time…

So if you’ve started looking at the scales in horror at the thought of baring all on the beach in a matter of weeks, don’t panic.

The Bikini Diet lets you eat normally for five days of the week and cut your calories on just two days.

If you stick to this simple plan you could lose up to a stone and drop a dress size in time for summer.

So this diet is for you, whether you’re looking for a great new way to slim, want to kick-start your weight loss or just want some new recipes to add some summer sizzle to your meals.

The Bikini Diet and get the beach body you’ve dreamed of…

The golden rules

There are three steps to follow to get into shape for the summer. Keep to these rules and you will lose weight, feel healthier and look great.

fast – eat only 500 calories for women/600 calories for men – on two non-consecutive days per week.

eat normally but healthily on the other five days.

follow the 30-minute workout plan three times a week on your non-fasting days.

Your formula for a successful ‘normal’ day

If you follow these steps, you will have plenty of scope for tasty plates of food without excluding any food group, and it means that you will be able to have delicious pasta, bread, desserts and, of course, a glass or two of wine.

Eat three healthy, balanced meals a day.
Have light, healthy snacks such as fruit or yogurt if you feel peckish between meals.
Do not calorie count or reduce portion size; you are not on a diet.

Do be aware of what you are eating. Is it necessary? Is it healthy?

Do allow yourself the occasional treat.
Cut back on processed food and ready meals.

Prepare home-cooked food as often as possible

If you still feel hungry after a meal, wait 20 minutes and see if you are still hungry.

Do allow yourself a glass of wine or two, a tasty dessert or even a few squares of dark chocolate.

Cut out the rubbish. Keep the following items to a very bare minimum: biscuits and cakes; crisps; non-diet fizzy drinks; chocolate bars and sweets; beer, lager and cider

After what felt like the longest, coldest winter for years the sunshine finally made an appearance last week.

But packing away those coats and hats means one thing – it’s almost bikini time…

So if you’ve started looking at the scales in horror at the thought of baring all on the beach in a matter of weeks, don’t panic.

This amazing six-week plan will get you looking fabulous for summer, and you can still eat all your favourite foods – you can even have a barbecue!

The 5:2 Bikini Diet lets you eat normally for five days of the week and cut your calories on just two days.

If you stick to this simple plan you could lose up to a stone and drop a dress size in time for summer.

So this diet is for you, whether you’re looking for a great new way to slim, want to kick-start your weight loss or just want some new recipes to add some summer sizzle to your meals.

Start today with the first of our three exclusive extracts from new book The 5:2 Bikini Diet and get the beach body you’ve dreamed of…

The golden rules

There are three steps to follow to get into shape for the summer. Keep to these rules and you will lose weight, feel healthier and look great.

fast – eat only 500 calories for women/600 calories for men – on two non-consecutive days per week.
eat normally but healthily on the other five days.
follow the 30-minute workout plan three times a week on your non-fasting days.
Your formula for a successful ‘normal’ day

If you follow these steps, you will have plenty of scope for tasty plates of food without excluding any food group, and it means that you will be able to have delicious pasta, bread, desserts and, of course, a glass or two of wine.

Eat three healthy, balanced meals a day.
Have light, healthy snacks such as fruit or yogurt if you feel peckish between meals.
Do not calorie count or reduce portion size; you are not on a diet.

Do be aware of what you are eating. Is it necessary? Is it healthy?

Do allow yourself the occasional treat.
Cut back on processed food and ready meals.

Prepare home-cooked food as often as possible
If you still feel hungry after a meal, wait 20 minutes and see if you are still hungry.

Do allow yourself a glass of wine or two, a tasty dessert or even a few squares of dark chocolate.

Cut out the rubbish. Keep the following items to a very bare minimum: biscuits and cakes; crisps; non-diet fizzy drinks; chocolate bars and sweets; beer, lager and cider

What to do on your fast days

You can eat your calories in any order you want as long as you don’t go over your limit but to start with it might be easier to stick to something similar to:

Women – 100 calories for breakfast, 150 calories for lunch, 250 calories for dinner

Men – 100 calories for breakfast, 200 calories for lunch, 300 calories for dinner

Or if you want to tailor the diet to your lifestyle from the start, these questions might help you decide how best to manage your meals on a fast day.

do you get up early?
do you work in an office?
are you exposed to unhealthy food during the day?

If you answered yes to some or all of the above questions then it might be worth considering missing breakfast and having a slightly more substantial lunch. Why?

Because eating at lunchtime will make it easier to avoid snacks during the day. If you are rushing out first thing, you should find it easier to miss breakfast.

are you busy during the day with little time to think about food?
do you feel cranky if you skip breakfast?
do you have a morning ritual which involves breakfast and coffee?

If you answered yes to some of the above questions then you should try having a bigger (200–300 calorie) breakfast and then going through until your evening meal. Why? If you are busy at work you will not notice lunchtime.

Q&As

Q: Can I drink alcoholic drinks?

A: On a ‘normal’ day, yes, alcoholic drinks are definitely allowed. Obviously beverages that are higher in calories – such as beer and lager – should be kept in moderation, but wine and spirits are relatively low calorie and can be indulged.

Q: Should I exercise on a fast day?

A: Not recommended because you may feel weak and it will increase your hunger. However, some people do enjoy exercise on a fast day and do not suffer from any side effects.

Q: What type of food should I eat on a fast day?

A: The food you eat should be the most filling possible for the least amount of calories. The best things to eat are therefore lean protein-rich foods such as chicken or fish, and good carbohydrates such as pulses or beans. Salads and vegetables tend to have the least calories and can provide a big plate of food for very little calories.

Q: Should I eat ready meals?

A: Healthy home-cooked food is best – it doesn’t have to be complicated. Any processed food is likely to contain additional salt and preservatives and will have lost some of its goodness during production.

Q: What about eating out?

A: On a ‘normal’ day I think a tasty meal out in a restaurant is a well-deserved occasional treat. Don’t go overboard, especially if you tend to eat out more than once a week. Be careful and choose healthy options if you are eating at a fast-food restaurant or takeaway.

Q: What do I do if I break the fast day rules?

A: Don’t panic! If you have gone a little over your calorie allowance – anything up to 200 calories over – you don’t have to give up on that day. Just watch what you did wrong and try and do it differently on your next fast day. If you totally fall off the wagon, call it quits and think about what went wrong the next day. Don’t beat yourself up, and give yourself a little time off. Don’t give up.

Your meal planner

If you’re already feeling inspired, try these great recipes for your first fast day…

Breakfast – Egg white omelette with cherry tomatoes

84 calories, Serves 1

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

3 large eggs (54 cals for egg whites)
1 tbsp skimmed milk (5 cals)
3 sprays light sunflower oil (3 cals)
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half (22 cals)
fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Egg whites are a good choice if you are cutting back on calories, as there are only 18 calories in an egg white.

First, separate the eggs. Crack one of the eggs on the side of a clean bowl and, using your thumbs, open the two halves, letting some of the white run into the bowl.

Carefully pass the egg yolk from one half of the shell to the other, letting the egg white run into the bowl. Keep passing the egg yolk from one half of the shell to the other without breaking it until all the white is in the bowl.

Put the yolk in a separate bowl and repeat for the other 2 eggs.

Add the milk to the egg whites and whisk together with a fork.

Spray the oil into a wide frying pan and warm over a medium heat for at least two minutes. Pour in the egg white mixture, then add the cherry tomatoes and basil immediately.

Season with salt and pepper and cook until set. You may need to swirl and tilt the pan to distribute the eggs, tomatoes and basil evenly over the base of the pan.

The omelette should cook in less than a minute. Serve straight away.

Lunch – Mushroom stir-fry

146 calories, Serves 1

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 6 minutes

Ingredients

½ tsp walnut oil (20 cals)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (6 cals)
1 tsp soft dark brown sugar (18 cals)
½ tsp sunflower oil (14 cals)
½ garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped (2 cals)
½ yellow (bell) pepper, deseeded and cut into
thin slices (21 cals)
½ small carrot, peeled and cut into very thin sticks (14 cals)
1 small thumb fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into very thin sticks (6 cals)
50g (1¾oz) beansprouts (16 cals)
50g (1¾oz) mangetout (snow peas) (16 cals)
100g (3½oz) mushrooms, sliced (13 cals)
This is a filling and substantial stir-fry, yet it is low in calories too.

In a bowl, mix together the walnut oil, soy sauce and brown sugar to make a sauce.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan (skillet) over a high heat, toss in the garlic, pepper, carrot and ginger and stirfry for two minutes. Add the beansprouts, mangetout and mushrooms and stir-fry for a further two minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sauce and cook for another two minutes.

Serve immediately

Dinner – prawn green curry

263 calories

Serves 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 tsp sunflower oil (27 cals)
1 tbsp thai green curry paste (30 cals)
150ml (²/³ cup) vegetable stock, fresh or made from ¼ stock cube (9 cals)
½ × 400ml (14fl oz) can light coconut milk, stirred (146 cals)
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips (51 cals)
75g (3oz) frozen peas (50 cals)
1 spring onion, trimmed and shredded (5 cals)
1 x 160g (5½oz) pak choi, roughly chopped (30 cals)
225g (8oz) raw king prawns (king shrimp) (171 cals)
juice of 1 lime (4 cals)
1 fresh basil leaf, shredded
1 small handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped (3 cals)

Warm the oil in a wide saucepan, add the curry paste and stir-fry for one minute before adding the stock and coconut milk. Simmer for two minutes, then add the pepper, peas and spring onion and simmer for a further five minutes, or until the peas are tender.

Add the pak choi and prawns and cook for two minutes, or until the prawns turn pink.

Finally, stir in the lime juice, basil and coriander and serve immediately.

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Healthy eating hints and tips

When it comes to dieting, lose the fads. The single most effective way to lose weight and maintain health is by making lasting lifestyle changes. Clean eating is a lifestyle that puts the boot to processed, packaged foods dripping with salt, sodium, and unpronounceable ingredients. It focuses instead on natural, nutrient-packed foods that let your body run the way it’s supposed to. Change how you look and feel with my clean eating tips.

Do eat four to six small meals a day. Smaller, more frequent meals will keep your blood sugar levels stable and will increase your metabolism. And, because the meals keep the tummy satisfied throughout the day, you’re less likely to turn into a pantry-raiding snack monster.

Don’t skip breakfast. Never. Ever. Your morning meal establishes healthy metabolism throughout day. What’s more, if you skip it, you’ll likely find yourself consuming larger quantities of food at later meals.

Do drink. Water, that is. Drink at least four to six glasses of H2O every day to keep the body hydrated. Water also helps the stomach feel full, making you less likely to give in to unhealthy snack attacks. For a refreshing twist on this go-to drink, try Morning Lemon & mint water

Don’t drink too much alcohol. Whether it’s wine or beer, alcohol offers only empty calories and no nutritional value. If you’re going to enjoy alcohol, save it for special occasions.

Do keep clean eating snacks on hand. Whether the day is filled with the kids’ sports events or running errands for an elderly parent, it’s easy to give in to the bad snack temptation. Stay on your clean eating track by packing up healthy snacks in advance.

Don’t sabotage yourself with sugar. Excess sugar is linked to a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and inflammation. Packaged and processed foods often flood the body with unneeded sugar. Even a product that sounds healthy, like store-bought applesauce, often contains too much refined sugar. Instead, satisfy a sweet tooth with natural sugars, like those found in a whole apple.

Do get very veggie. Vegetables deliver nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber.

Don’t serve super-sized portions. Even if you’re eating a clean diet, it will be hard to lose weight eating portions fit for a sumo champ!

Do combine lean protein and complex carbs at each meal. This clean eating one-two punch decreases insulin spikes and maintains energy levels. The combo also acts as a natural appetite suppressant, helping you feel fuller longer. Pair Chicken Pot Roast with your favorite salad topped with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or red wine vinegar.

Don’t go into the week without a meal plan. Can’t answer the question, “what’s for dinner tonight?” Be a planner. Decide on a week’s worth of clean eating recipes ahead of time so that you don’t get stuck feeding the family a boxed meal containing processed or powdered who-knows-what.

Gym log day 1

So today was my first day back in the gym after a few years off and a few pounds put on I have a holiday coming up soon so I need to lose some weight! Here’s my log from today

15mns cross trainer
10mns bike
30 x 35 should press
30 x 60kg chest press
30 x 45kg pull down
30 x 45kg rope pull
30 x 20kg standing barbell lifts

Not to bad for my first day back going to up my cardio in the next couple of days hopefully see those pounds going away

Weight is at 12.5 at the moment will keep logging everyday and keep you updated in my progress

Yeast infections causes treatment and overview

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Understanding what a yeast infection is and treatment

So what is a yeast infection?

Our colons are populated by a large colony of bacteria which assists in the final stages of digestion and the manufacturing of some B vitamins. The vast majority of these bacteria about 80% are considered (friendly). Many of these are the lactobacillus acidophilus variety the same as the culture in some yoghurt. The remaining 20% are yeast organisms as Candida albicans

Yeast is very interesting. It is a single cell organisms related to moulds and fungi and is neither animal or vegetable. It is important to understand that yeast is endogenous to the human body. It lives all over out body and on the mucous membranes which line the gastro intestinal tract. It is especially prominent in the colon yeast has a job to do just like any other bacteria

Yeast is highly opportunistic organism which will take advantage of any chance to proliferate. The growth is normally kept in check by the friendly lacto bacteria ( acidophilus bifidus Bulagus and other varieties in our gut and by a healthy immune system . When regulating factors are disturbed the yeast multiplies

The proliferation of Candida albicans

We have considered the immune suppressing effects of a stressful lifestyle. The lack of nutrients from our diet will also reduce immune function and page the way to increase yeast numbers. Anything which imbalances the “friendly bacteria” in our colon will allow yeast to proliferate. Broad spectrum antibiotics (tetracycline vybramycin) such as types used for ear,nose and throat infections can wipe out our entire colony of “friendly bacteria” and leave the yeast intact

Yeast feed in sugar and it’s growth is promoted by dietary yeast from sources such as bread Vegemite alcohol and other fermented products environmental moulds and fungi like the type can be found in bathrooms or house foundations will promote the problem

Biochemical individuality explains why some people will develop symptoms of candidosis and others won’t and why some will only suffer mildly, whilst others will be smitten with the problem it’s easy to accept from the general standard of low resistance, poor diet and high antibiotics use that many people will be susceptible

Women suffer with candidosis more than men. The ratio is about 10:1 one of the reasons is the production of the female sex hormone progesterone favours the growth of the yeast. The hormone is also found in the contraceptive pill. Other steroids like cortisone regularly used for inflammatory conditions like the skin problems and asthma readily promotes yeast growth. Diabetics suffer as a result of there raised blood sugar levels. Those exposed to long periods of antibiotic use for skin conditions or repeated infections are at high risk. The gut is inoculated with intestinal flora as we pass though the birth canal. As the baby grows the numbers of friendly bacteria multiply if the mother has thrush at the time of delivery it may be contracted to the baby and this will begin an early pattern of problems young children are often prescribed antibiotics for repeated colds ear infections this can result in candidosis with frightening results

So the treatment

The occasional mild case of thrush or cystitis is common amongst women. This often follows a course if antibiotics and can be self correcting. It last a while and then the body overcomes the infection and corrects the balance of yeast it is the moderate to severe cases that we are most interesting in helping. Their symptoms can be severe and their life can be hell

A typical scenario leading to yeast overgrowth would be as follows:

Take the average women eating the average Australian junk food diet high in sugars rancid fats and processed grains and suffering a moderate degree of stress. Under such circumstances her immune systems will be weak winter approaches and her body is unable to defend itself against the latest “cold” that is going around this further weakens her she goes to the doctor who prescribes a course of antibiotics which are useless against anything of a viral nature. He knows this and she probably does to but what else can they do?

Antibiotic therapy

The yeast takes advantage of this reduced immunity and the absence of the regulating lacto Bactria that would normally keep there numbers in check. An added bonus is her high sugar diet in fact, by this stage she is beginning to feel poorly and will be propping herself up with lots of sweet things and bread. Yeast thrives on sugar and yeasty foods like bread Vegemite and alcohol and so they flourish unchecked. Soon there are so many yeast that they cant find enough food so they grow a rhizoid like root structure and burrow through the walls of her intestinal mucosa in search of nutrients. In doing so they compromise the precious barrier between our external and internal environments and faeces toxins and macro molecules proteins especially slip through directly into her bloodstream this is where the problem begins

The pill and other steroids

Is she is taking the pill or using cortisone or other hormonal therapy. Her problems will be worse in fact each time her monthly cycle comes around growth of yeast will be promoted by her raised progesterone levels

How to treat a yeast infection
.stop feeding the yeast
.support the immune system
.create a favourable environment in the bowels

Bulking diet ideas

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What is bulking?

In essence, bulking is a phase in which a bodybuilder trains to a high intensity, limits cardiovascular training and increases calorie intake with the aim of facilitating muscle growth. Because the bodybuilder is within a calorie surplus environment some fat gains are usually accepted, but how much fat gain is deemed acceptable depends on the bodybuilder.

To further explain periodisation, the other phase bodybuilders usually undertake is known as cutting. As you may have guessed, this is the opposite to bulking, and involves a calorie restrictive environment, cardiovascular training to spur on fat loss and weight training aimed at maintaining muscle mass whilst the fat is being stripped away.

What is lean bulking?

Lean bulking may mean different things to different people.

For some, lean bulking means following a bulking phase which also limits unnecessary fat gain. This is opposed to the so called “dirty bulking” which describes bulking without a regard for fat gain and often an abundance of junk food. In this sense, what we describe in this article as bulking, and the subsequent sample meal plan, is lean bulking. The point of bulking is to facilitate an environment which is optimal for muscle gain, and this can be achieved without the need to notably increase fat levels which will just have to be reduced at a later date.

The other possible meaning of lean bulking is the belief of being able to increase muscle bulk whilst keeping fat levels abnormally low, or even reduce them from their current levels. This may be possible – mainly for beginners who will find this dual approach possible from sound training and a sensible diet alone, or by bodybuilders who take performance drugs – but for many intermediate to advanced trainers this will not be the case.

7.30am
Generous serving of oats with skimmed milk
Large banana
350ml of cooked egg whites
Tbsp of flaxseed oil
Fruit juice or hot beverage

10:00-10:30am
200g of tinned tuna
150g long grain brown rice
Generous serving of mixed veg

12:30pm
Chicken breast
Large baked potato
Item of fruit

3:30pm
Serving of a protein blend product or lean steak
150g wholemeal pasta
Mixed nuts and seeds
30 minutes before training 20g of whey protein in water

Post workout
40g of whey protein with 50g of dextrose or maltodextrin

7:00pm
200g of cooked salmon
250g sweet potato
Serving of veg

10:00pm
Tub of cottage cheese or serving of protein blend
Serving of oats with skimmed milk

This meal plan is merely a guide and it should be tailored for your specific needs, tastes and preferences. It is also recommended to vary the foods you consume each day to ensure you consume a variety of nutrients.

After a few weeks of following the diet, assess your progress. If you are gaining muscle mass whilst maintaining a good level of condition keep the meal plan in place. If, however, you are not gaining enough weight you may want to look to increase the calories, or inversely decrease the calories if you are gaining too much body fat.

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