Matt's Mission Metabolism Blog

 

     
Wednesday 4th August, 2010
What's your eating personality & how do you manage it?
Knowing your natural eating style is important because you can then match the right management strategy. Which of the four categories below apply to you? If you are not yet applying the tips, take this as your jumpstart to start now... you'll have more days on Target.
Habitual Eater
You eat to a repeating pattern. The time of the day dictates your meals. You've become a captive to your own habits which causes you to eat a limited and nutrient-poor variety of foods. Your chocolate cravings may simply be a habit that can be easily broken.
Tips – Keep healthy food handy so it's your habitual first choice, Write reminders to take you off autopilot, Know that your taste buds do change
Social Eater
You eat what other people dictate. Your diet is often hijacked at parties and social get-togethers. You tend you think you can't control your eating because other people and situations do.
Tips – Go out to eat with a plan, Move away from the food after you've got your smaller potion, Practice saying 'No' to people who offer you food or to refill your drink.
Emotional Eater
You use food to improve your mood. When you are feeling a bit down or high, food is the answer. But this often backfires and a low follows leaving you feeling guilty.
Tips – Say STOP & question a craving when you feel it building, Build non-food emotional outlets into your life, Recruit support to question you when you turn to cookies, cake or chocolate.
Biological Eater
You respond to chemical cravings and may have some form of true biological addiction to specific foods. For example, you might crave carbohydrates in response to a serotonin imbalance. You get frustrated when you get cravings or feel really hungry when you can't identify an obvious trigger.
Tips – Eat nutrient-rich to nourish your body with the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that may biologically solve your cravings for you, monitor your appetite carefully, identify trigger foods and have a healthier substitute ready.
Yes, you can have characteristics of all four styles above. In fact, all of us need to manage each style to maximise success. When you put some effort in to do this, you will experience fantastic results.
Here's the Morning Show Segment to explain some more:
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Thursday 10th March, 2016

5 Reasons not to weigh yourself

No weighIt's motivating to see your body is changing when you are getting into shape. But stepping on the bathroom scales is a risky way to measure progress. Here are five reasons why you shouldn't weigh your success.

1. Scales show weight, not body composition – Muscle weighs more than fat. So, the number on the scales can stay the same or even increase as you gain muscle and lose body fat. Scales don't measure these positive metabolic changes.

2. Scales show daily fluctuations – Your weight can vary by 2-3kg each day, depending on what you eat, hydration level, fluid retention and bowel movements. Daily weight changes do not reflect changes in muscle or fat.

3. Scales distract you from better habits – Obsessing about kilos takes your mind away from celebrating positive habits, like eating two fruits today or achieving three workouts this week. Ensure you cheer for all your small changes.

4. Scales shouldn't dictate your mood – So, the scales didn't change today... it doesn't mean you have to feel down. Don't let your bathroom scales set your mood for the day.

5. Scales show a number, not how you look – If your clothes fit better, you look leaner in the mirror and people comment that you've lost weight, why weigh yourself? You've got enough proof it's working!

How to measure success?

Weigh yourself once when you start getting into shape. Then use tape measurements (waist, hips, etc), the mirror and how your clothes fit to see changes. Check for changes once a week or less often – not every day! You can weigh yourself after four weeks if you need to, but I'm hoping you'll see and feel your success without it.

Now that you've finished reading, you may want to consider chucking out your bathroom scales. I'm serious, if you feel like you have become a slave to the scales then take a new approach and liberate yourself. It will feel like you've just got rid of a bad friend. You don't need them.

Download & share this Tip Sheet - 5 Reasons not to weigh yourself


Thursday 31st Dec, 2015

 

No more random resolutions


new year

No-one likes to feel the guilt of a failed resolution, so this New Year let's put an end to random resolutions.

These are the type of resolutions that are more like ill conceived wishes rather than a genuine committment to a better life. You probably know some personal examples.

The good news is you can make better resolutions and ones that stick, but you need a proven plan to make it happen.

Below, I've put together the vital elements that positive psychologists recommend for building a powerful, personal motivational strategy.

This is about building habits that automatically keep you eating nutrient-rich, exercising regularly and optimising your metabolism in 2016 and beyond.

I've used regular exercise as the example for this process, but you could substitute diet, smoking, stress or even a business goal if you like.

If you'd like to avoid another random resolution and make a resolution that works, download my planner and fill it in.

Step 1 >
Create a threat... I don't want diabetes


Linking a clear threat to your health, wellbeing or lifestyle that will result from you not taking action can provide a big stick for change.

Example: If I don't exercise regularly and eat well I will get diabetes when I'm older and I don't want that.

Step 2 >
Connect a benefit... I want to look good
 

Next, establish a real benefit for making changes both in the immediate term and the long term. This gives you some juicy carrots for change.

Example: When I finish my exercise session I feel energised and refreshed. I know that being a regular exerciser will help me look toned and fit. And I won't want to eat rubbish when I'm active.

Step 3 >
Conceive a plan... I will get a PT


Now, work out the specifics of the changes that you will make to help you reach your goals. Will you exercise more, eat more fruit or join a gym?

Example: I have written in my diary the days that I will go for a walk and also go to the gym this week. I'm also going to shop for the whole week so I've got healthy food ready. 

Step 4 >
Commit to targets... I will eat 5 veg every day


You may have a specific weight or fitness goal from your program, but these only result from you meeting your daily or weekly targets. You'll need flexibility here, so although you may not always hit your target, you'll stay committed to aiming for them.

Example: My minimum target is to eat 5 Exchanges of vegetables a day. I'll walk twice a week and also go to the gym twice a week. I might get more sessions in. When I achieve these targets I know I'm still on track to reach my goals.

Step 5 >
Construct a picture... My gymbag is ready


How will your work, home and other physical environments look if they are to be set up to support you hitting your targets? You'll need to leave your walking shoes out ready for your morning walk. You'll need to pack your gym gear so you can stop at the gym on your way home from work.

Example: I'll pack my gym bag the night before so I'm ready. I'll also get rid of any tempting snacks from the house. 

Step 6 >
Compose a script... Rewards are worth effort


Each of the examples above is actually a script or the words you tell yourself to increase your chances of success. Start to replace negative thoughts with new positive scripts. You should also have some fairly global scripts to play in your head until they become automatic.

Example: I'm a regular exerciser, so I can be proud of my progress. Diet slip ups are normal so I won't beat myself up about going off plan any more.

Step 7 >
Counter the excuses... Busy people exercise


If you've done all the previous steps, they'll be working for you now. One vital step is left and that is to counter the range of excuses that can emerge as you progress towards your goals. Common excuses include; lack of time, boredom, no time or no energy.

Example: Of course I have the time to exercise because I just need to shift a few priorities to fit a session in. Healthy food is not more expensive if I make my own healthy lunch to take to work.

If excuses or setbacks come along, you'll be in a stronger position to deal with them. If times get challenging, it may be useful to go back over these seven steps, one-by-one again. This will remind you of your commitment, and refresh your resolve.

If you'd like a nudge (or kick-in-the pants) and a simple, flexible nutrition plan to get your diet sorted in 2016 click here to learn more about Metabolic Jumpstart.

My 4-week programs start Monday January 18th and my 8-Week Shape Up Challenge is on Monday 8th February.


Wednesday 9th Dec, 2015

Christmas Party Survival Guide

party without poundsWith a little party planning, social events need not sabotage your plan to stay in shape until Christams. Here are 10 tips to feel more confident about managing food at festive functions.

1. Start the day of a party with a healthy breakfast. If you know there will only be high-calorie foods at the party, eat a little less than you usually would during the day (no starving).

2. Don't arrive hungry. Have a small healthy snack before the function to take the edge of your hunger.

3. Schedule an activity session before the party so you've burnt up calories in advance.

4. If you've been asked to bring a plate, bring a low-calorie dish you know you can eat.

5. Throw your own party and put on a low-calorie spread. Your guests may be pleasantly surprised at how tasty it is.

6. Let people know you are eating healthy foods and ask that they don't offer you fatty or sugary treats.

7. Set yourself a limit for alcohol before you start partying and stick to your plan.

8. Choose diet soft drinks, mineral water or plain chilled water.

9. When offered pre-dinner snacks from a platter, simply say "I've already tried it -- it was lovely, but I'll save myself for dinner."

10. Avoid stockpiling your plate with food you may not need, but are likely to eat. Take one or two items and come back for more if you are genuinely hungry.

For more tips to share, download my Tip Sheet - Partying without the Pounds


Tuesday 3rd Feb, 2015


How to beat willpower fatigue

WillpowerRock solid willpower... it's a challenge, I know. But don't blame yourself and think you have no willpower. Think about willpower differently...

Willpower needs exercising – Like a muscle, you need to use your willpower, otherwise it weakens. Willpower is like having 'self-control', so every time you resist a treat, your willpower gets stronger.

Willpower needs to rest –Willpower fatigues easily without support. Having a weekly food and fitness plan, getting adequate sleep and good time management all take the pressure off your willpower. Try to keep it all together to avoid overtraining your willpower.

Willpower becomes fit and strong – By implementing a mental fitness plan for willpower you'll develop automatic self-control and find yourself ignoring treats you once found too tempting.

Changing how you think about willpower can be liberating and lead to greater food confidence and success. Look after your willpower this week.

Here are some more tips to download - Tip Sheet: 7 Ways to boost willpower.  


Wednesday 31st Dec, 2014


10 Dietary mindshifts to make in 2015

mindshiftIf you want to successfully achieve your weight and wellbeing goals in 2015, you may need a whole new approach to the way you think about dieting. Here are ten ways to think differently in the New Year.

1. Commitment... not wishes

Gordon Livingston is a US psychiatrist and writer who often asks his patient's whether their latest plan to do something different is a real expression of intent of simply a wish. If you've tried many diets without permanent results, perhaps you were just wishing you could stay in shape. Perhaps you just didn't have an important enough reason to keep at it.

Commitment is a far stronger force that helps you stick at your diet when wishes fade. Reducing health concerns or being a good role model for your children are both strong reasons to commit to a better diet. Why is it really important to change your diet and what changes to can you commit to this time?

2. Planning... not memory

Just because you are committed doesn't mean you'll automatically remember to eat well. Making a plan of what to bring for lunch, knowing who is cooking tonight or how to manage food at your weekend party are all good plans. Until you automatically remember the healthier option, make a plan, even if you have to make a plan to remember to plan.

3. Habits... not willpower

The British hypnotist and life coach, Paul McKenna said, "Habits and imagination are more powerful than willpower and logic will ever be." Habits are those automatic patterns we establish early in life to save ourselves hours every day not having to relearn how to get dressed, clean our teeth or drive a car to work. Building positive eating habits, like taking fruit for lunch can become new automatic patterns that decrease the need to reply on willpower and memory.

4. Targets... not goals

It's important to have goals driving you when it comes to career and finances. But when getting into shape, the pressure of a 20 pound weight loss goal can sometimes be just too scary. Setting targets, which are daily and weekly behaviour changes can be more motivating because they are more easily achieved. Why wait weeks or months to celebrate your success? Meet your targets and larger goals follow more naturally.

5. Clarity... not confusion

The basics of a healthy diet have not changed for decades or even centuries. Eat more fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and eat less fatty and sugary food. These clear, simple messages and rewarding dietary targets often get lost in the confusing clutter of slimming pills, potions and lotions. Don't let duelling diet gurus and the ensuing confusion constipate your efforts. By not chasing and buying into the latest fads, you open a clear path to sustained results.

6. Arguments... not excuses

"I'm addicted to chocolate.... I can't stop at one... and I just had to finish the plate", are all diet-related excuses for overeating. Psychologist, Dr Martin Seligman, PhD says we need to challenge the excuses we offer ourselves for negative lifestyle choices. You really aren't addicted. You can stop at one. And you didn't have to finish the plate are examples of statements he suggests we use to rationally argue back. The next time you hear an excuse in your head, ask if there is an alternative and more positive argument.

7. Satisfaction... not deprivation

Knowing to eat to the point of being satisfied is a skill that often requires relearning as adults. Years of overeating or breaking the feed limit can make it hard to put the brakes on a meal times. Dieting can then deprive the pleasure, fullness and fun in food. By eating slowly, listening carefully to your stomach's satisfaction signals you'll be better equipped to find a balance.

8. Parameters... not temptation

Dr Phil of Oprah fame believes we don't cure obesity. Instead, we manage it. This means establishing a new healthy lifestyle that will support our efforts to get into and stay in shape. If you have a history of social eating tripping your diet, set some personal parameters. Limit when you involve food in your social situations. Let others know alternatives to bringing food to the party. Reducing tempting situations can be more productive than constantly resisting temptation.

9. Good data, not bad days

In the book Change Anything, the best-selling authors say that even a bad day provides good data on what things don't work for you. For example, grabbing takeaway for dinner when you' ve run out of healthy food at home shows you that you need to prepare better and shop in advance. You need to think of what are seemingly failures as learning experiences to help you improve your weight management strategies.      

10. Flexibility... not perfection

Voltaire said, "The perfect is the enemy of the good." What he meant was striving to have everything correct and in order can get in the way of being good at something. Aiming to be good at your diet may actually achieve you a better average nutrition score than being perfectly fat-sugar-caffeine-alcohol-free for four days and then in a rebound fast-food frenzy for the next four weeks. With so much temptation around, try good for a while and see how it works.

For a simply, clear nutrition plan to optimise your metabolism and the support to ensure you make these mindshifts in the New Year, jump onto a 4-week Metabolic Jumpstart, starting 12th January 2015.


Wednesday 19th Nov, 2014


Greens in a pill - Good or bad?

GreensSuper Greens, Vital Greens, Multi Greens... all these new supplements are promising the goodness of whole foods in a pill or powder. But can they deliver safely?

What's in superfood powders?

Greens supplements contain dehydrated fruits and vegetables, sometimes with added herbs, barley, algae or other exotic ingredients.

10 Serves of veg?

Bioglan Multigreens says each serve contains 10 serves of vegetables. This comparison is based on the ORAC value (a theoretical measure of antioxidant activity) of a 75g serve of broccoli.

But this doesn't mean the supplement is the same as raw broccoli or other whole vegetables.

What's missing?

The main ingredient missing in a pill or powder is dietary fibre. And the extraction process can't get all the different types of phytochemicals out whole foods.

Creating a powder from dozens of vegetable and herb extracts may also result in unbalanced nutrition compared to raw foods. More ingredients or more of a nutrient are not always better.

Contamination with arsenic & lead

A 2013 lab test of greens supplements in the US found over half the products tested were contaminated with heavy metals or microbes that accumulate in the dehydrated ingredients.

One product contained more than twice the level of arsenic, a carcinogen, allowed by the US EPA in one litre of drinking water. Another had significant levels of lead, a toxin.

Do greens supplements work?

Some studies show higher blood levels of the antioxidant vitamin folate, when taking a greens supplement. But you could get that from a less expensive folate pill anyway. And the bioavailability of nutrients (how much is absorbed) from greens powders is also a mystery.

As for proof that greens powders improve your nutrition, that's a big guess.

Are greens worth taking?

Maybe, but there are risks too, like consuming nutrients in unnatural proportions. For example, an over-supply of one carotenoid or phytochemical could block the activity of others and even trigger a damaging pro-oxidant effect.

Guaranteeing that a supplement is contaminant-free is also hard, particularly when there are dozens of imported ingredients.

In a nutshell, vegetable supplements are not a substitute for the real, nutrient-rich food. Eating whole foods in the correct balance offers greater nutrition, provides the essential fibre as well as the protective substances to optimise your health, metabolism and results.

There is no substitute for real, nutrient-rich food.


Monday 30th June, 2014


How to eat healthy during Ramadan

RamadanIt's the time of the year again on the Islamic calendar - Ramadan - a sacred time for Muslims to refocus their minds and their spirituality through fasting from dawn to dusk. Managing your diet can be challenging during Ramadan, but being smart and planning well works wonders.

Meal timing

Firstly, Ramadan doesn't mean that you have to eat everything in one go after dark. Have your Iftar (snack after sunset) followed by dinner at a later time. Then, if possible leave some room for supper before bedtime to spread out your meals.

Ideally, your Suhoor/ Sehar (pre-dawn meal) should comprise of low glycaemic index (GI) starches. These release energy more slowly and provide a more sustainable energy source throughout the daytime fast.

Stick to your minimum 5 exchanges of Vegetables and 2 exchanges of Fruit everyday as they are rich in fibre and help to keep your bowels regular.

Don't forget about your Protein, Dairy (another good source of protein) and Healthy oils as they are digested more slowly, and can maintain your fullness for longer.

Fluids

Adequate hydration (preferably water) is important because it can prevent constipation and reduce the chance of headaches, muscle cramps and dizziness.

Beware of hidden Extras

Ramadan is a festive time where social eating is often unavoidable. Traditional dishes are often high in fat (such as deep-fried pakora and samosa) and refined sugars (such as mithai and gulab jamun). So, just be aware to limit these.

To satisfy your cravings from traditional sweets, have a healthy snack before going for a small amount of sweets, especially at supper.

Eat by your appetite

After long hours of fasting, we tend to get very hungry due to the hormone called ghrelin. Once the fast is broken, it is easy for us to binge and over-eat unconsciously (especially at dinner). So, eat slowly and chew well. It takes at least 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it is full.

Stay healthy

While fasting is compulsory for all Muslims at Ramadan (except for few exemptions, such as the elderly and children) anyone suffering from a chronic disease or taking medications should consult a Doctor about fasting.


Tuesday 27th May, 2014


3 Steps to beat sugar cravings

beat sugar cravings

You know the feeling... you've made it to mid-afternoon at work and then the sugar craving hits. You head to the vending machine to snap up a chocolate bar, bag of lollies or can soft drink to get your fix.

But are you hardwired to seek sugar or are the treats just a bad habit? And more importantly, how can you beat these sugar cravings for good?

Step 1 - Reduce your biological cravings

Humans are chemically programmed to seek sweet food because sweetness comes with the calories we need to survive. The reward for sugar is the release of serotonin (the feel good hormone) and dopamine (the addiction hormone).

Whether it's a hit of energy or a feeling of happiness, we naturally feel better after consuming sugar. This is the main reason why doctors give toddlers a lolly after an injection.

It's hard to know how biologically susceptible you are to sugar's lure. You may be a hyper-responder with a strong chemical drive for sugar.

Beat biological sugar cravings by:

  • Starting your day with starches at breakfast to reduce levels of another craving chemical called NPY (neuropeptide-Y).
  • Include lean proteins at main meals to help feel fuller for longer between meals.
  • Eat nutrient-rich as much as possible to minimise any nutrient imbalances that may trigger the desire for sugar.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweet foods, including; fresh and dried fruit, yoghurt or milk and even roasted onion, peppers or beetroot.
  • Be careful with sweet diet foods, as they may not satisfy a craving.
  • Be keenly aware of your hunger signals to avoid becoming ravenous. This is when the craving chemicals take over!
  • Keep a glass of water in your hand or on your desk to avoid the temptation of grabbing a chocolate bar instead.

Step 2 - Reprogram your bad habits

Bad eating habits can keep the sugar-cycle spinning at full speed. If you were always rewarded with lollies or candy as a kid, chances are this reward routine has become a simple yet powerful automatic response programmed into adulthood.

Bad habits can be broken with awareness and positive alternative behaviours.

Beat bad eating habits by:

  • Logging your eating triggers and reactions to become more aware of your negative eating patterns.
  • Keep tempting treats out of the house and only bringing home small quantities of sweet treats on weekends.
  • Plan a new and better food choice, like a handful of dried fruit, and have it ready with you for when a craving strikes.
  • Distract yourself when you feel a craving coming on. Go for a walk and the craving may dissipate.

Step 3 - Rethink your big emotions

In some cases sugar cravings can feel out of control, particularly if devouring sugar is used as a short-term fix for some bigger emotions.

Beat big emotions by:

  • First deal with any biological craving and bad habits by using the strategies above. This sets you up for success.
  • Name your emotions – be it stress, boredom, anger or anxiety. Then ask yourself, "What other than food do I need to make me feel better?" Work towards satisfying cravings with non-food rewards.
  • Be patient and know that it takes time to work through emotions. Be your own best friend rather than beat yourself up. Slip-ups are allowed!
  • Talk to someone you trust about your feelings or challenges.
  • If it's too much, get professional help from a counsellor. Their expert advice and guidance may be just the breath of fresh air you need.

Sugar cravings are not always based heavily on emotions, but knowing the sugar-feelings link is there in some way will better equip you to make a breakthrough and beat sugar cravings for good.

Do I need to go sugar-free?

Banning sugar from your diet is not the answer, nor is it achievable. Fruit and milk are nutrient-rich foods that contain natural sugar – fructose in fruit and lactose in milk.

People who claim to have gone "sugar-free" will have also cut out chocolate, pastries, ice-cream and other Extras that also contain fat.

Its added sugars you should target by checking food labels to minimise the sugar content and examining ingredients lists for the tell-tale signs of sugar, including; sucrose, honey, molasses and corn syrup.

Now, I hope you feel more confident to tackle those sugar cravings.

With a little effort to address the biological cravings, bad habits and any emotions, the results are fantastic!

If you'd like more help, a Dietitian-designed nutrition plan and a powerful program to reprogram your eating habits, jump into my 4-Week Winter Jumpstart by Thursday 29th May, 2014 to start your metabolically matched nutrition plan on Monday 2nd June.


Monday 17th February, 2014


Share Your Success Winners Announced

Here at Metabolic Jumpstart, I'm reprogramming people's metabolism and eating habits with real, nutrient-rich food and a new way of eating. And now it's time to celebrate the amazing results we are seeing. Here are the photos and stories behind the three winners of the Metabolic Jumpstart Share Your Success Competition, which ran over December and January. Thank you to all who entered - your changes are amazing.

Erika Coates, Winner - Lost 8kg and won a $500 Gift Voucher

Winner - Erika Coates

Erika's story, age 54...

When did you start Metabolic Jumpstart? October 2013.

What results have you achieved? In 7 weeks, I've lost 8kg from 115kg to 107kg. I've lost 8cm off my waist and I'm down 2 clothes sizes. I have been able to fit into pants that I have not worn for 4 years!

Why did you join Metabolic Jumpstart? My fitness trainer, Jason McLachlan at Step into Life - Pakenham put me onto Metabolic Jumpstart and I knew I had to change my food as well as exercise. I have an office job and have not done any exercise for years. I sit for at least nine hours a day at my desk and found it very difficult to get motivated to walk at lunchtimes. I just wasn't healthy and had to do something about it.

What changes have you experienced? Since I started Metabolic Jumpstart, my outlook on food has completely changed. It' so simple. I now follow the plan and do not experience hunger as I once did. The food that I now eat is much healthier and keeps my energy levels up. I have even started to get up at 5am and jog around the block, take a lunchtime walk and walk at least 4.5 kms each evening. I enjoy the exercise and I love the fact that I have dropped 8.27 kgs in 7 weeks and have had to buy smaller sized clothing. Its an awesome feeling.

If anyone had told me a few months ago that I would be doing this, I would have laughed at them!

What's next for your goals? I'm walking 100km this week and in a few months, I'm planning to do a tandem skydive. I would have never thought this possible and intend to continue my journey and seeing results with your help. Thanks so much Matt and the Team at Metabolic Jumpstart!

Anna Davidson, Runner Up - Lost 12kg

Runner Up - Anna Davidson

Anna's story, age 18...

When did you start Metabolic Jumpstart? September 2013.

What results have you achieved? In 3 months, I've lost 12kg. My waist has dropped by 18cm, down from 104 to 86cam. I'm now wearing size 14 dresses, down from size 18 and even my size 14 jeans are baggy and loose.

Why did you join Metabolic Jumpstart? I wanted to get into better shape after a long period of feeling unhappy with my size and feeling controlled by emotional eating. I started a fitness program but I was kidding myself that I could lose weight without changing my diet. So, I signed up to be accountable for what I eat as well as exercise.

What changes have you experienced? Metabolic Jumpstart showed me that I used to eat way too much food, lots and every day. I basically cut out sugar when I started Metabolic Jumpstart and now I don't crave it at all. I'm now accountable for my diet and know exactly when I'm on or off target.

I now feel good about going shopping for clothes, instead of dredding it because I know I won't fit. 

What's next for your goals? I am excited about the future and am sure that my goal of 20kg loss by March is completely achievable. I have finally found a way to feel confident about weight loss and eating right. 

Lisa Newman, Runner Up - Lost 4kg but maintaining 57kg off! 

Lisa Newman - Runner Up

Lisa's story, age 44...

When did you start Metabolic Jumpstart? February 2013.

What results have you achieved? I have lost 57kg in total and have been on my weight loss journey for around two years now. Metabolic Jumpstart helped me lose the last 4kg and most importantly, how to maintain my weight loss. Since starting the program, I've gone from size 18 tops to size 14 tops.

Why did you join Metabolic Jumpstart? I was a very big, unhappy woman who didn't know what healthy eating or exercise was. I was suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and could hardly walk. I joined FitnFast Campbeltown and lost a lot of weight with the help of my fitness trainer. Then we heard about Metabolic Jumpstart and wanted to get my metabolism going again, so gave it a try.

What changes have you experienced? This program has given me a new lease on eating healthy. I was originally on a strict low-carb diet that has got the weight off, but it was very boring and I absolutely detested the protein shakes which I was having up to three a day.

I now look foward to eating a nutrient-rich diet. What I have leant from Matt and Metabolic Jumpstart is now second nature and part of my life forever. The variety of food incredible and the plan is so easy to follow. 

My Type 2 Diabetes has gone and my blood pressure is now in a healthy range. This is now the way I eat and I will continue as it has become second nature.

What's next for your goals? I'm now focussing on strengthening and toning my body. I feel I have a new fit body that I can do anything with. 

Please give a very loud cheer for Erika, Anna, Lisa and everyone who entered the Metabolic Jumpstart Share Your Success Competition. Your results show what you can achieve with real food, a simple plan and nutrition that is truely matched for YOU!  

To re-program your metabolism and your eating habits with real food and a powerful new way of eating, get started with Metabolic Jumpstart now.

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Tuesday 28th January, 2014

motivation tips25 Best Motivation Tips

PDF 
Download my 25 Best Motivation Tips

We all need a motivational boost to keep on target with food and fitness. And some of us need a nudge to get started again. That's why I've selected 25 of the best ways to get motivated below. Choose ways that will work for you and make these motivators real this week. You'll be amazed how it works.

1. Team up – Recruit family or friends to join you. When your motivation dips, theirs pulls you through.

2. Say it on social media – Share your fitness targets on Facebook. Publically proclaiming your exercise targets helps you follow through.

3. Picture it on your fridge – Stick a picture of who you want to look like or the dress you want to wear as a daily visual reminder.

4. Talk fit & healthy – Increase positive self-talk about eating and exercise. When you hear a negative voice in your head, press 'Delete'.

5. Get new gear – Fresh gym clothes or running shoes feel good and make you want to use them.

6. Get a trainer – Engage a Personal Trainer for at least one month to push you when you need it to build the exercise habit.

7. Join a class – Sign up for a gym class or outdoor group fitness. Exercising with likeminded people is contagious.

8. Renovate your menu – Try new recipes, meals and snacks to add fresh flavours to your diet.

9. Farewell the sluggish you – Think for a minute how sluggish and low on energy you feel when you don't eat well or exercise.

10. Enter an event – A charity fun-run, swim, cycle or triathlon sets you a deadline to be fit.

11. Set digital reminders – Set a daily alarm on your phone, computer or app with your personal motivational message, e.g. eat well today!

12. Use an app – Track your results with a smartphone app like RunKeeper for instant feedback on your efforts and progress.

13. Prepare the night before – Get your lunch ready and pack your fitness bag. It's a heads-start on tomorrow's success.

14. Predict an active retirement – See yourself still fit and active into your 60, 70s or 80s. Playing with grandkids, exploring, enjoying.

15. Don't be perfect – Be consistent instead of being perfect. Accept slip-ups as small detours rather than snowballing into major set-backs.

16. Celebrate daily targets – Enjoy each day you've achieved small goals, e.g. eating 2 pieces of fruit or burning 500 Cal in a workout.

17. Press your reset button – Been lazy and eating crap? Start a new day by pressing your bad habit reset button. Start fresh.

18. Say you deserve it – Make a deal with yourself that you deserve to be fit, healthy and strong.

19. See yourself successful – Positive visualization works for you as it does for athletes. Rehearse eating well in your head and it happens.

20. Prioritoirize health time – Add exercise sessions and weekly meal planning time to your diary just as you would a meeting.

21. Be OK with low days – If you are just not feeling up for a workout occasionally, give it a miss. It's better than stressing about it.

22. Get good sleep – Fatigue or sleep deprivation may be sucking your energy and mojo. Schedule some more Zzzzz's.

23. Read some quotes – Google "motivation quotes" and choose a few that resonate with you. Cut, paste and post to read each day.

24. Got for a walk – Yep, a walk in the fresh air thinking a little about why you are not motivated, works wonders to help you do what does.

25. Be persistent & patient – Adopt these 2 P's to commit to your efforts, knowing it won't be easy, but it will be worth it.

Did you mark the motivators you'll be using? If not, got back and pick the tips you'll put into action this week. For most of us motivation doesn't come naturally – it builds by what we do to become motivated.

Boost your motivation for success with my expertly matched nutrition plan, 4-week program and club. Learn more about Metabolic Jumpstart.


Tuesday 7th January, 2014
Motivation

New Year Motivation Planner

PDF 
Download my 7-Step Motivation Planner

Listen Listen to my instructions (Flash required)

Simply setting New Year's resolutions, like losing weight or getting active, are not enough to ensure that you make lasting change and build the lifestyle you desire. You need to add a more detailed plan -- and that's why I want you to use the 7-step plan below -- so you make 2014 the year you get into (and stay in) your best shape ever!

After considerable research, I've included the vital elements that positive psychologists  recommend for building a powerful, personal motivational strategy. Once completed, you can refer to when you need a boost or think you've lost your way.

Download the Planner now, read how to fill it in below and then complete it with your own details. Keep your copy where you can check it when you need a reminder about why you are making an effort or for inspiration to achieve your dreams.

This is about building habits that automatically keep you eating nutrient-rich, exercising regularly and optimising your metabolism in 2014 and beyond.

I've used regular exercise as the example for this process, but you could substitute diet, smoking, stress or even a business goal if you like.

Step 1 > Create a threat... I don't want diabetes

Linking a clear threat to your health, wellbeing or lifestyle that will result from you not taking action can provide a big stick for change.

Example: If I don't exercise regularly and eat well I will get diabetes when I'm older and I don't want that.


Step 2 > Connect a benefit... I want to look good

Next, establish a real benefit for making changes both in the immediate term and the long term. This gives you some juicy carrots for change.

Example: When I finish my exercise session I feel energised and refreshed. I know that being a regular exerciser will help me look toned and fit. And I won't want to eat rubbish when I'm active.


Step 3 > Conceive a plan... I will get a PT

Now, work out the specifics of the changes that you will make to help you reach your goals. Will you exercise more, eat more fruit or join a gym?

Example: I have written in my diary the days that I will go for a walk and also go to the gym this week. I'm also going to shop for the whole week so I've got healthy food ready.


Step 4 > Commit to targets... I will eat 5 veg every day

You may have a specific weight or fitness goal from your program, but these only result from you meeting your daily or weekly targets. You'll need flexibility here, so although you may not always hit your target, you'll stay committed to aiming for them.

Example: My minimum target is to eat 5 Exchanges of vegetables a day. I'll walk twice a week and also go to the gym twice a week. I might get more sessions in. When I achieve these targets I know I'm still on track to reach my goals.


Step 5 > Construct a picture... I've got my gymbag ready

How will your work, home and other physical environments look if they are to be set up to support you hitting your targets? You'll need to leave your walking shoes out ready for your morning walk. You'll need to pack your gym gear so you can stop at the gym on your way home from work.

Example: I'll pack my gym bag the night before so I'm ready. I'll also get rid of any tempting snacks from the house. 

Step 6 > Compose a script... Rewards are worth effort

Each of the examples above is actually a script or the words you tell yourself to increase your chances of success. Start to replace negative thoughts with new positive scripts. You should also have some fairly global scripts to play in your head until they become automatic.

Example: I'm a regular exerciser, so I can be proud of my progress. Diet slip ups are normal so I won't beat myself up about going off plan any more.

Step 7 > Counter the excuses... Busy people exercise

If you've done all the previous steps, they'll be working for you now. One vital step is left and that is to counter the range of excuses that can emerge as you progress towards your goals. Common excuses include; lack of time, boredom, no time or no energy.

Example: Of course I have the time to exercise because I just need to shift a few priorities to fit a session in. Healthy food is not more expensive if I make my own healthy lunch to take to work.

If excuses or setbacks come along, you'll be in a stronger position to deal with them. If times get challenging, it may be useful to go back over these seven steps, one-by-one again. This will remind you of your commitment, and refresh your resolve.

If you'd also like a powerful nutrition plan that's not only metabolically matched for you, but also helps you make 2014 the year you make a permanent switch to nutrient rich eating, I'd love to get you started. Click here to learn more about Metabolic Jumpstart.



Saturday 30th November, 2013Summer of Salad


Summer of Salad starts
1st Dec

Join the festival & start tossing!

Tomorrow, 1st December in Australia, marks the start of the "Summer of Salad" - a 3-month long festival of nutrient-rich, colourful vegetables that combine to create taste sensations and a healthier metabolism. Join in and share the Summer of Salad.

To get you started, try these yummy salad dressings on your favourite salad leaves:

pdf Download 7 Salad Dressings


More Summer of Salad ideas, recipes and tips here during the festival!

FacebookFollow on Facebook & Twitter - share the salad! 

 

Wednesday 9th May, 2012

Paleo diet - Do you need to eat like a caveman?

Eat like a caveman?The Paleo diet is all the buzz right now, but do you need to revert to a purely hunter-gatherer cuisine to achieve the body-shaping and werllbeing results you desire? Read on to find out. 

The Paleolithic (‘Paleo’, ‘Caveman’ or ‘Hunter-Gatherer’) diet is a modern diet based on what our ancestors likely ate during the Upper Paleolithic era from 30,000 up to 10,000 years ago. From then on, our diet radically changed, with what was the first true agricultural revolution.

At this time, separate and distinct societies around the world began domesticating plants (crops) and animals for food. The biggest change to our diet was the processing of grains and cereal crops which led to a drastic increase in the consumption of starchy carbohydrates, to where we are today, with starchy carbohydrates as our dietary staple foods for energy.

The theory for eating the Paleo way is based on our genetics; supporters of the diet claim that our genes remain unchanged since the Paleolithic era, and so modern diseases of civilization (obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease) are the result of a discordance between our conserved genes and our modern diet (the ‘evolutionary discordance theory’).

What it includes

Foods that you can hunt and gather:

•    Fish, grass-fed meats (including organ meats, such as kidneys and liver), eggs
•    Vegetables – all green vegetables and roots such as carrots, turnips and beets
•    Fresh fruits
•    Nuts and seeds
•    Small amounts of natural sweeteners such as honey


What it excludes


Foods that we grow, harvest and process

•    Grains and legumes
•    High GI tubers such as potatoes and yams
•    Corn – technically a grain
•    Dairy products
•    Cashews and peanuts (technically legumes)
•    Salt and sugar
•    Processed vegetable oils
•    Alcohol

Nutritional benefits/concerns

The diet is high in: fibre, omega-3 fatty acids(relative to omega 6 fatty acids), antioxidants, low GI carbohydrates, and is low in refined sugar and processed foods.
However, cutting out whole food groups (dairy, whole grains) has major metabolic disadvantages. This diet would be low in calcium (unless large quantities of calcium-containing leafy vegetables and nuts were consumed) and runs the risk of being a low carbohydrate diet if there isn’t a strong enough reliance on fruits and vegetables.

Experimental studies

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of following a Paleo-style diet on body weight and other metabolic markers (such as insulin sensitivity). A study in which a group of sedentary Australian Aboriginals with type 2 diabetes were returned to their traditional diet and lifestyle for 7 weeks resulted in improvements in blood glucose control, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol [1]. Randomised controlled trials in which 2 groups are allocated to either the Paleo diet or an alternative diet (such as the Mediterranean, or Diabetic diet) have shown distinct metabolic advantages of the diet (such as greater satiety), however, further research is required [2][3].

Isn’t it just Atkins/low carbohydrate?

In short – no. The Paleo diet is meant to be a balance between plant and animal foods, and includes a number of semi-starchy vegetables, fresh fruits and natural sweeteners (honey) which aren’t allowed on Atkins. Although the Paleo diet is relatively high in animal foods, it isn’t a low carbohydrate diet.

Major criticisms of the diet

We don’t know exactly what our ancestors ate

The Paleolithic era was a long time ago, and there are very few archaeological records to tell us exactly what our ancestors ate. Basically, we know what they didn’t eat, but when it comes down to what they did eat – it’s mostly conjecture from piecing together limited fossil and archaeological evidence.

A uniform ‘Paleo’ diet didn’t exist

It has been scientifically-validated that there it is very unlikely that there ever was one single Paleolithic diet [4]. The human digestive system is extremely flexible, which allowed humans to exist on very different diets, depending on their location and the season. Consider the typical diet of our ancestors living in Alaska, eating mostly raw meat and fish, compared to those living on the equator with abundant ripe fruit – they would have been vastly different in terms of nutritional composition.

There is evidence that some Paleo societies ate starchy foods

There is also archaeological evidence that early humans in the Paleo era were grinding grains and making flours, and also cooking starchy foods. Stones with wear patterns from grinding starches from 30,000 years ago from Russia, Italy and the Czech Republic suggest that starchy grains and grasses were a part of our ancestors diet, long before the first agricultural revolution [5]. There is also reasonable evidence to suggest that people were processing cereal grains for food as much as 200,000 years ago [6]

It’s not feasible in a modern world

Processed and packaged foods are a large part of the modern diet. Consider the typical Australian breakfast of cereal and milk, or toast and spread; changing to the Paleo involves a major change of diet.

Eliminating starchy staples (bread, cereal, pasta and rice) and dairy (milk yoghurt and cheese) as food groups would drastically reduce calorie intake, and without careful planning, could put you at risk of nutritional deficiencies, including calcium (of which dairy is our primary source) and B vitamins (found in whole grain and fortified breads and cereals).

Furthermore, there are countless studies showing that many bioactive components of dairy are beneficial for fat loss and have significant metabolic advantages. If you’d like to read more on this, click here.

Following such a restricted diet makes eating away from home difficult, and the careful planning required makes it very hard to stick to long term. Sticking to a reduced calorie diet is challenging enough.

Bottom line

In my opinion, it’s not so much about the Paleo diet being nutritionally superior to the way most of the Western world eats, it’s about the western diet being nutritionally inferior. Of course any diet that promotes unprocessed, fresh food is going to have metabolic advantages and result in weight loss.

The Paleo diet does have many nutritional benefits; high in omega-3, low Glycemic index and low Glycemic load, and high in nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, however, it’s just not necessary to cut-out whole food groups on the basis that our ancestors may have not eaten them.

Food groups such as dairy and whole grains have mountains of scientific evidence in their favour, and are actively promoted by public health authorities. Dairy is a rich and convenient source of calcium and high-quality protein, and whole grains are packed with fibre, antioxidants, and starches which are important for bowel health, blood sugar maintenance and weight management.

Eating the MJ way will offer you all the metabolic benefits of a nutrient rich diet and the ability to stick to it for life.

References

1. O’Dea K. Marked improvements in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic Australian Aborigines after temporary reversion to traditional lifestyles. Diabetes. 1984; 33:596-603

2. Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Ahrén B, Branell U, Pålsson G, Hansson A, Söderström M, and Lindeberg S. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2009; 8: 35.

3. Lindeberg S, Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Borgstrand E, Soffman J, Sjöström K, Ahrén B. A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia. 2007 Sep;50(9):1795-807

4. Brand-Miller, J, Mann N, Cordain L. Paleolithic nutrition: what did our ancestors eat? In: ISS 2009 Genes to Galaxies. Eds: Selinger A, Green A. The Science Foundation for Physics, University of Sydney.  University Publishing Service, University of Sydney, Sydney, 2009; 28-42.

5. Thirty thousand-year-old evidence of plant food processing.” By Anna Revedin, Biancamaria Aranguren, Roberto Becattini, Laura Longo, Emanuele Marconi, Marta Mariotti Lippi, Natalia Skakun, Andrey Sinitsyn, Elena Spiridonova, and Jirí Svobodai. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107 No. 42, October 19, 2010.

6. Murphy, D. "People, Plants and Genes: The Story of Crops and Humanity." Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2007.

 

Tuesday 10th April, 2012

Next Easter - reduce your waist and food waste
Easter bunny
Alright guys, enough's enough. I want you to put a halt to your herculean attempts to munch your way through the left-over pile of Easter eggs. I know we were all brought up with the 'finish everything on your plate' mantra and told terrible tales of starving children in Africa, it's time we consider the fact that obesity rates in our own country are the highest in history, and I don’t want you to add to that statistic.

Another statistic - in Australia, each day there are around 13,350kJ / 3,109 cals of food available to every single person in the country, which means there are far more calories on offer than are compatible with staying lean. We simply must learn to get better at saying no to excess calories.

This year – in the waste, not your waist

So let's face it. Today's the day to bin the leftovers... kiss goodbye to your eggs, bunnies and bilbies. They're all packed with fat, sugar and calories and shouldn't be a part of your daily diet - they’re special – that’s why they’re called ‘Easter’ eggs.

I know it's hard to see perfectly good food go to the waste, but seeing your eggs in the bin should trigger you to make this year the last year you have to waste food.

Next Easter, place a limit on the amount of chocolate you buy yourself and your family, and if you know friends and family are likely to buy it for you, let them know you’d rather other gifts, such as toys that will get the kids active, or simply their ‘time’ as a gift.

Next year – less eggs, less waist and reduced waste

Make this Easter the last year you compromise your waist line in an effort not to waste food. Your health, fitness and the environment will thank you.

Thursday 15th March, 2012

Red meat still gets my tick of approvallean red meat

A recent study from Harvard University has been getting a lot of media attention recently, as the researchers concluded that 'red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of total, CVD, and cancer mortality', and recommend 'substitution of other healthy protein sources for red meat' to lower the risk of early mortality.

So, should you ditch red meat when eating it as part of a nutrient-rich diet? Red meat has many attributes which make it a valuable inclusion to your Meal Plan – it’s high in protein, which keeps you feeling full, and is a good source of many micronutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.

In this study, the risk of total mortality (death) was 13% higher for those who ate a serving of red meat daily, but a whopping 20% higher for those who had a serving of processed meat (such as hot dogs or bacon). This suggests that the risk is partly due to the saturated fat content of the meat products, which is greatly increased in processed meats. They found similar increases in risk for red meat consumption and cardiovascular disease mortality and cancer mortality.

Before you ban the beef, what this 'increased risk' actually means, is that if you already had a 10% risk, even a 20% increased risk would only bring your total risk up to 12%. Not so alarmed anymore? 

On a more positive note, they found that the risk of death decreased if certain foods were substituted for the red meat, such that fish resulted in a 7% decrease in risk, whole grains or poultry by 14% and nuts by 19% (keeping in mind what these percentage risk reductions actually mean).

Not as scary as the news seems

What's important to note here, is that this was an observational study, which means the researchers simply observed people's dietary habits (by Food Frequency Questionnaire - which I'll mention later) and their health outcomes (developing chronic diseases and dying ).

Observational studies are unsuitable for deriving cause and effect (in this case, saying that red meat 'causes' an increased risk of chronic disease and death). Simply observing a link between red meat consumption and these outcomes is by no means satisfactory scientific evidence that the red meat consumption has anything to do with the adverse health outcomes.

Another major flaw in the study was that Food Frequency Questionnaires were used in the study to gauge how much red meat people are eating. This is a method of dietary data collection which is notorious for being a widely inaccurate method.

Furthermore, when the people were ranked into groups by their red meat consumption, the group with the highest intake (compared to the group with the lowest intake) were more likely to smoke and less likely to do physical activity (i.e. they were generally less healthy people).They also had self-reported calorie intakes which were much higher than those with the lowest intakes, meaning they were more likely to have a higher BMI than the group with the lowest intake. This alone would explain the increased risk of adverse health outcomes.

They also ate less whole grains, fruits and vegetables  - nutrient-rich foods which contain dietary fibre, antioxidants and a vast array of other nutritional factors that interact with other foods in the diet, providing cellular protection from disease.

A spokesperson from Meat and Livestock Australia reinforced the message of the wealth of evidence from other scientific studies which suggest that there are no adverse effects to health when lean red meat is consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, and that lean red meat should remain a valuable contributor of dietary zinc, iron, amino acids, omega-3 and vitamin B12.

Furthermore, their resources make the distinction between fresh lean red meat and processed meat, describing lean red meat as a nutrient-rich food, with relatively low levels of fat and saturated fat, compared to processed meat, which is 'high in fat, salt and nitrites'. The recommendation from key heath organisations (such as the Cancer Council) is still for people to 'limit their consumption' of processed foods.

Bottom line

1. Watch your portions - the suggested limit is a 65-100g cooked meat (=1 MJ Protein Exchange) 3-4 times per week (approximately the size of your palm, or a deck of cards).

2. Fresh lean red meat is a nutrient-rich food, relatively low in fat and saturated fat. It is a valuable source of iron, zinc, vitamin B12, omega-3 and essential amino acids.

3. Limit your consumption of processed red meat (salami, sausages, hot dogs, frankfurts, bacon, ham).

4. Buy lean cuts of red meat and trim any visible fat before cooking.

5. Include nuts, whole grains and other sources of protein (such as chicken and fish) in your MJ Plan.

6. Make sure you're filling half your plate with salad or vegetables.

Tuesday, 31st January 2012

Junk food #$%&'s your metabolismNo to junk food

Some people eat a lot of junk food… why… because they can! They don’t have a weight problem because they have a metabolic rate which is fast enough to burn up the generous calories in their buggers, fies, shakes, booze and treats.

But something’s going to backfire as that junk food addiction is stuffing up your metabiolism, mouthful by mouthful. Slowly, slowly the free-radical damage and ‘metaflammation’ (chronic low-level cellular inflammation) form loads of sugar, fat and salt take their toll.

This is when a person who has been lean for years, suddenly finds it hard and sometimes impossible to prevent creeping weight gain. “Where did this belly come from?” I hear quite often.

You may still be lean, but you lean days are numbered. As a Dietitian for over 20 years, I’ve seen it happen time and time again. 

How junk food gets you hooked
  • Triggers reward centre in brain, like alcohol, drugs
  • Builds a negative habit that repeats automatically
  • Cheap compared to healthy takeaway

Diets high in junk food don’t have the nutrient-rich fresh produce, nuts, seeds and all natures nutritional goodies to protect against metaflammation and the inevitable waistline expansion.

Diets often don’t work much then if they are full of low-calorie, diet foods devoid of natural nutrients… diet pills, shakes, bars don’t deliver the nourishment your body has been craving for so long to fight the free radical damage and win the war on metaflammation.

The answer is to make the switch to nutrient-rich eating as early as possible in your life, so you create the greatest lifetime exposure of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and other nutritional chemicals who’s names can’t even be pronounced or haven’t been identified yet.

This is your insurance against junk food-induced metaflammation and the collateral damage that appears on the scales.

I know this sounds quite serious, and it is! If people knew more about the metabolic trauma they put themselves through on a junk food diet, they would make the switcyh to nutrient rich eating.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, when you know how to make positive changes and take the time to learn how to eat. And I mean eat.. real food is correct portions in a balanced diet of all food groups. Success is not about counting calories. It’s about being calorie-aware but mastering your balance of food group exchanges to deliver optimum natural nutrients for your body. Vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, healthy oils and starches all play a role in a nutrient-rich diet.

For now though, here are some tips to help break a junk food addiction:

  • Pack a healthy lunch, like salad wrap, left-overs
  • Make a list of quick meals, like BBQ skewers & salad or stirfry 
  • Keep a healthy frozen meal as a back-up when tired
  • Get your fast food fix at home with grilled fish & chips or homemade pizza
  • Set some rules, like Fast Food Friday when you can have it

And some sweet treat ideas that are much better choices:

  • Banana with vanilla custard & cinnamon sugar
  • Yoghurt & berries
  • Fruit loaf toast
  • Dried fruit
  • Individual chocolate, 25g

Try these savoury snack ideas too:

  • Wholemeal crackers with reduced-fat dip
  • Lean deli ham & tomato sauce
  • Low-fat processed cheese
  • Toast with vegemite
  • Wasabi peas

You can beat the junk food addiction if you are committed and patient. It does take an effort but the fantastic results make it worth it.

Tuesday 3rd January, 2012

Make your 2012 resolutions stick with this plan  

PDF Make your resolutions stickDownload my 7-Step Motivation Planner


Simply setting New Year's resolutions, like losing weight or getting active, are not enough to ensure that you make lasting change and build the lifestyle you desire. You need to add a more detailed plan -- and that's why I want you to use the 7-step plan below -- so you make 2012 the year you get into (and stay in) your best shape ever!

After considerable research, I've included the vital elements that positive psychologists  recommend for building a powerful, personal motivational strategy. Once completed, you can refer to when you need a boost or think you've lost your way.

Download the Planner now, read how to fill it in below and then complete it with your own details. Keep your copy where you can check it when you need a reminder about why you are making an effort or for inspiration to achieve your dreams.

This is about building habits that automatically keep you eating nutrient ric, exercising regularly and optimising your metabolism in 2012 and beyond.

I've used regular exercise as the example for this process, but you could substitute diet, smoking, stress or even a business goal if you like.

Step 1 > Create a threat

Linking a clear threat to your health, wellbeing or lifestyle that will result from you not taking action can provide a big stick for change.

Example: If I don't exercise regularly I will get diabetes when I'm older and I don't want that.


Step 2 > Connect a benefit


Next, establish a real benefit for making changes both in the immediate term and the long term. This gives you some juicy carrots for change.

Example: When I finish my exercise session I feel energised and refreshed. I know that being a regular exerciser will also make sure I have the energy to run around with my grandkids when I'm older.


Step 3 > Conceive a plan

Now, work out the specifics of the changes that you will make to help you reach your goals. Will you exercise more, eat more fruit or join a gym?

Example: I have written in my diary the days that I will go for a walk and also go to the gym this week.


Step 4 > Commit to targets

You may have a specific weight or fitness goal from your program, but these only result from you meeting your daily or weekly targets. You'll need flexibility here, so although you may not always hit your target, you'll stay committed to aiming for them.

Example: My minimum target is to walk twice a week and also go to the gym twice a week. I might get more sessions in, but when I achieve these targets I know I'm still on track to reach my goals.


Step 5 > Construct a picture

How will your work, home and other physical environments look if they are to be set up to support you hitting your targets? You'll need to leave your walking shoes out ready for your morning walk. You'll need to pack your gym gear so you can stop at the gym on your way home from work.

Example: I've got some new workout gear, so I don't have the pressure of having to wash during the week.

Step 6 > Compose a script

Each of the examples above is actually a script or the words you tell yourself to increase your chances of success. Start to replace negative thoughts with new positive scripts. You should also have some fairly global scripts to play in your head until they become automatic.

Example: I'm a regular exerciser, so I can be proud of my progress.

Step 7 > Counter the excuses

If you've done all the previous steps, they'll be working for you now. One vital step is left and that is to counter the range of excuses that can emerge as you progress towards your goals. Common excuses include; lack of time, boredom, no time or no energy.

Example: Of course I have the time to exercise because I just need to shift a few priorities to fit a session in.

If excuses or setbacks come along, you'll be in a stronger position to deal with them. If times get challenging, it may be useful to go back over these seven steps, one-by-one again. This will remind you of your commitment, and refresh your resolve.

If you'd also like a powerful nutrition plan that's not only metabolically matched for you, but also helps you make 2012 the year you make a permanent switch to nutrient rich eating, I'd love to get you started. Click here to learn more

 

Tuesday 13th December, 2011

Dietary guidelines - Catching up...at last!
New dietary guidelines

Today, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released a long-anticipated draft of the new Australian Dietary Guidelines for public consultation until the end of February 2012.

So, Superstar MJ Dietitian Lucy Taylor and I took a look to give you the spin on what we should be eating.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines were released 8 years ago in 2003, and have been widely-criticised for their failure to curtail the current prevalence rates of overweight and obesity in Australia.

At present, around two-thirds (66%) of Australian adults are overweight or obese, and future projections are grim: that figure is expected to rise to around ¾ (75%) by 2020.

So what’s changed?

The 2003 Guidelines ad suite of recommendations were criticised for being unclear and not practical for the general population.  As a result, the new Guidelines focus more on specific food choice recommendations rather than more fuzzy goals of simply like “limit consumption of…”.

For example, the revamped Guidelines tell people to choose reduced-fat dairy product instead of limiting saturated fat. After all, what was the limit and how could you apply it?

Based on data from national nutrition surveys in Australia, the new advice recommends that we consume:

-    Double the amount of vegetables, fruit and whole grain cereals

-    Around four times more low-fat dairy products

-    More poultry and fish

And for some recommendations there’s a gender split – most men need to eat less red meat, whereas most women need to eat more.

Not surprisingly, the Government is cracking down high-calorie, nutrient-poor junk food and is especially targeting sugar sweetened drinks such as soft drink and cordial in light of stronger evidence linking consumption to weight gain. In 2003, the Guidelines allowed some descretionary junk food. Now there is no room for fast food if you are not exercising.

One positive change is the inclusion of healthy, unsaturated oils found in nuts and seeds and their oils, as distinct from unhealthy (saturated and trans) fats and oils found in junk food.

Another specific recommendation to Australians is to curtail their potato consumption – yes, potatoes are vegetables, but they also contain a fair whack of starch and so need to be treated more like grain foods, in terms of limiting consumption. 

What does this mean in terms of Metabolic Jumpstart (MJ)?

In order to make the new Dietary Guidelines more practical and useful to the general population, they now focus on the number of servings from food groups.

Hang on – isn’t that exactly what I’ve been prescribing for optimal results in Metabolic Jumpstart for years?

For weight loss and maintenance, the stricter Guideline stance on junk food re-enforces my views on Extras – they should be just that – not something to be had every day.
Consuming Extras from say cookies, cake or chocolate may not be compatible with the body shape you desire. 

The inclusion of healthy oils also brings the Guidelines one step closer in line with MJ, as does the point on potatoes, which fall into the Starch food group on MJ.

My only problem is the number of serves recommended of grain foods – they recommend 6 serves per day for both men and women as a minimum, with optional extras quantities for people doing more physical activity. In my opinion this is far too high for the average sedentary adult.

It doesn’t take into account body size or activity and so this is where MJ can help you manage your weight more effectively -  your Plan is personalised to your metabolic rate and whether your body performs better on carbohydrate or protein, not to the average Australian adult.

Excess starches, especially if they are refined and/or high GI can spell metabolic disaster for blood sugar levels, insulin levels, insulin sensitivity and fat storage. This is why it’s so important to get advice that’s metabolically-matched to your needs.

I highly recommend having a read of the new Guidelines. There’s a comprehensive breakdown of the scientific evidence and reasoning behind their recommendations.

pdfDownload the pdf here (3mb file)

If you’re really keen, your comments are welcomed. Click here to find out how to give to your two cents.

 

Tuesday 6th December, 2011

Accidentally fattening our kids – let’s break the cycle.
girl with hula hoop

Click here to watch my segment of The Morning Show, 30th November, 2011.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2008, around one quarter of all Aussie children (aged 5-17 years) were classified as overweight or obese, putting them at higher risk of developing medical conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and eating disorders, not to mention psycho-social problems such as bullying.

Alarmingly, that figure is projected to reach 30% by the year 2020. 

As easy as it is to blame their parents, there’s often a multitude of factors beyond the parent’s control contributing to making their kids gain weight.

However, parents can inadvertently contribute to the fattening of their kids.

Here’s a list I’ve compiled to help make parents aware of small things they might be doing without even thinking about the impact on their child’s waist line.

8 ways parents accidentally fatten their kids:

1. Making kids finish their plates

An oldie but a goodie – this one has been around since the Depression when food was scarce, and in today’s society it’s no longer relevant. Most of us are lucky enough to have more than enough food to go around, and so sometimes it’s better for the food to end up in the waste, not on their waist. Furthermore, stuffing kids above and beyond their natural fullness point re-trains their appetite. Not good!

My advice: when you’re dishing up, serve less on the plate. They can always have seconds if they’re still hungry.


2. Rewarding with sweets.

As easy as it is to bribe kids with high calorie, sugar/fat-laden sweets, it’s not worth it in the long run. This one sets kids up for a lifetime of rewarding themselves with food.

My advice: instead of sweets, try to use healthy treats (such as fruit salad), play time, or simply attention as a reward.


3. Eat-a-taining kids

Eat-a-taining kids means entertaining kids with food-based activities, e.g. going to the movies and having popcorn and a choc-top. This one puts the whole family at risk of weight gain. My advice: to stop your kids equating fun with junk-food, every time you go out together.

My advice: take your own snacks (such as trail mix or fruit salad), and make sure you’ve had a good healthy meal before leaving the house.


4. Filling up on liquid calories

If kids are thirsty, they should be drinking water most of the time. Shopping malls are full of milkshakes, juices, smoothies and ‘slushies’. What we know is that liquid calories aren’t regulated as well as calories from actual food – resulting in  decreased satiety and over-eating. Sugary drinks are also nutrient-poor for the calories they provide. Unlike whole fruit, fruit juice contains none of the fibre which helps fill kids up.

If all parents could change their negative habits now, we could possibly solve the childhood obesity crisis in only one generation. Let’s break the cycle!


5. Too much screen time

TV viewing hours are directly linked to obesity. Sitting idle in front of a screen lowers the metabolic rate and combined with the snacking that usually goes with it, is a metabolic nightmare. Do an audit in your own home – how many hours are your kids watching?

My advice: turn off the TV and get outside for some active play instead. Set limits on TV time and never allow a TV in a child’s bedroom.


6. Letting kids stay up late

Lack of sleep is increasingly being pinned as a risk factor for weight gain. Sleep is essential for regulation of numerous chemical pathways within the body, some of which are involved in appetite regulation, such that sleep deprivation can actually increase the appetite, and overtired kids looking for a pick-me-up tend to go for sugary sweets to temporarily boost their blood sugar levels.

My advice: set a firm bed time and enforce it. Don’t let them pester you into watching ‘one more’ TV show or playing for just 10 minutes more on the computer. Be strict about it, and give them plenty of warning that bed time is approaching. A bed time countdown works wonders.


7. Being a poor role model

Kids learn to mirror adult behavior before they can walk, so if you’re eating junk food, they’ll want to as well, and see it as perfectly normal.

My advice: make sure both you and your partner are eating the way you want your kids to – saving both your waistlines and theirs. Also, eliminate ‘diet’ talk. If you’re constantly voicing your dissatisfaction with your body and talking about diets this is easily transferred to your kids.


8. Carrying kids

Lifting and carrying toddlers around everywhere trains them to sit still, reducing their natural movement.

My advice: keep their metabolism firing as much as possible by keeping toddlers out of prams and your arms for as long as possible . Buying a kiddie harness or lead still lets you be in control but allows them to move around.

Of course changing the parental habits above is easier said than done, but the efforts made by mum and dad – and extended family – will help keep the next generation fit and healthy.



Tuesday 29th November, 2011

Krill oil... is it worth it?

I’ve been hearing a lot about the benefits of krill oil lately. But how does it compare to standard fish oil? To consider this, MJ Superstar Dietitian Lucy Taylor and I took a close look at science behind the Swisse Krill Oil brand and its advertising claims, compared with a standard fish oil product.

Krill oil, derived from Antarctic Krill, has been gaining popularity as a novel source of omega-3 in the supplement world in the past decade.  It is high in omega-3s and has antioxidant activity.

As with standard fish oils, the Swisse Krill Oil brand is thought to help support cardiovascular and joint health, as well as general health and wellbeing. The Australian Government recommends a Suggested Dietary Target of 430mg for women and 610mg for men (read more). Many people don’t reach this target.

Omega-3 content

Swisse Wild Krill Oil contains 80mg of omega-3 oils (EPA and DHA) in a 333mg capsule, whereas a standard fish oil capsule usually contains around 300mg omega-3 in a 1000mg capsule. Swisse Wild Krill Oil capsules, which are two-thirds (2/3) smaller by weight, contain a little more than one quarter (¼) of the omega-3s that you’ll find in a standard fish oil capsule.

Krill is a more expensive product than standard fish oil, as it is caught in Antarctica. The oil must be processed on board the ship (or it undergoes rapid decomposition and becomes rancid) and can only be harvested at a certain time of the year.

Looking at the price, a bottle of 50 capsules of Swisse Krill Oil at the Pharmacy cost $36.95, which is around 0.73 cents per capsule. On the other hand, a bottle of 180 capsules of a standard fish oil goes for around $13.70, or 0.08 cents per capsule.

For that price you’d hope the krill oil would be better! The answer is yes it is, but only marginally, so I’m questioning the pharmacy assistant’s enthusiasm that the krill oil is good because it’s ‘stronger’. What does stronger mean?

It is claimed that the omega-3s in krill oil have a higher bioavailability, which means they are absorbed more efficiently by the body. Swisse claims that omega-3s from krill oil are around 55% more bioavailable than that of standard fish oil.

‘Bioavailability’ refers to the amount of the omega-3 that is absorbed, which in saying that krill oil omega-3s are more bioavailable than those in fish oil inadvertently makes the claim that fish oil omega-3s are not 100% bioavailable. I am assured, however, by the Executive Director of the Omega-3 Center that the omega-3s in fish oil are 100% bioavailable.

Rather than having superior absorption, it may be that omega-3s from krill oil are better integrated into the human body.

One study [1] published in this year found that when two groups of people were supplemented with krill oil or fish oil, plasma levels of EPA and DHA were the statistically similar despite the fact that the total amount of EPA and DHA provided by the krill oil was just 62.8% of that provided by the fish oil.

This does suggest a greater bioavailability of krill oil derived omega-3s. But it’s not twice, three times or ten times stronger.

How is the omega-3 in krill oil superior to those in fish oil?

This gets even more technical. It all comes down to the natural bonds, or ‘links’ in omega-3 to other compounds in the fish oil. In fish oil, the majority of the omega-3 is linked to triglyceride, whereas in krill oil, it is mostly bonded to phospholipids (another compound found in cellular membranes).

These phospholipid bonds in krill oil are extremely delicate, and unless the extraction process is gentle and at low temperatures, the bonds are broken and so the product is essentially chemically-similar to fish oil.

At this stage, the only brand of krill oil I’m aware of with a patent for a gentle extraction technique is Neptune Krill Oil (NKO), so other brands may find it challenging to guarantee that their product contains intact omega-3-phospholipid bonds.

Antioxidant activity

Krill oil contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which is a classified as a carotenoid (a group of antioxidants – the best known of which being beta-carotene - responsible for the orange/red colours in main foods such as cooked salmon, carrot, sweet potato). Astaxanthin is also found in salmon and crayfish.

Antioxidants are compounds found in many whole foods, such as lycopene in tomatoes, beta-carotene in pumpkin and catechins in wine and tea, with the ability to neutralise free radicals within the body.

Free radicals cause cellular damage and have been linked to heart disease, certain cancers and the metabolic disorders that lead to insulin resistance and obesity. Research is divided over whether or not antioxidants in supplements offer the same benefits as those found in fresh foods.

On Metabolic Jumpstart, I recommend getting your antioxidants from nutrient rich foods, and not supplements.

Krill oil contains around 0.2% by weight astaxanthin, which is similar to the antioxidant content of standard fish oil. Fish oils contain around 0.25-0.5% added antioxidants (such as vitamin E) to maintain the freshness of oil (by preventing oxidation). So, I’d get more excited about getting a good dose of antioxidants from berries, nuts and vegetables rather than from krill oil capsules.

Scientific Research

There are very few studies on krill oil as a dietary supplement in humans, whereas over 8,000 clinical human studies on fish oil were published by 2009.

At this stage, there is not enough evidence to support claims that krill oil is anything more than 1.5x more potent than fish oil. In fact, in the US, It has been reported in the US that at least one company making claims about much higher potency for krill oil were forced to remove them after an advertising regulatory affairs council found them to be unsubstantiated.

The human study mentioned earlier effectively found that the health benefits from 1000mg omega-3 from fish oil can be acquired with around 650mg of krill oil-derived omega-3 [1], i.e. krill oil omega-3 is around 1.5x better than fish oil-derived omega-3s.

What this means is that the equivalent of 1 fish oil capsule (1000mg, 300mg omega-3) is around 195mg of omega-3 from krill oil. Using the Swisse brand as an example, that’s around 2.5 capsules. Cost wise, this is 0.08 cents for the 1 standard fish oil capsule, or $1.82 for krill oil.

Bottom line:

Despite claims of superior bioavailability, the most recent research suggests it’s only around 1.5x more potent than fish oil-derived omega-3s.

In terms of Metabolic Jumpstart, I recommend you take 1800mg of omega-3 per day (i.e. 6 standard fish oil capsules or 3 double strength capsules), for your heart, your mood and for optimising metabolic function for weight management. Let’s do a quick cost comparison for this dose:

Standard 100mg fish oil (300mg omega-3) = 6 capsules = 0.08 cents/capsule = 48 cents per day

Swisse 333mg Krill Oil (80mg omega-3) = with approx 1.5x potency = require 0.65x 1800mg = 1,170mg omega-3.

To get 1,170mg from Swisse Wild Krill you'll need to take 14.6 capsules = 14.6 x 73 cents per capsule = $10.65!

If you don’t like taking 6 standard fish oil capsules, I recommend paying the extra money for a double strength product, which may also be in a smaller capsule, rather than krill oil.

As far as antioxidants go, eating generous quantities of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds packed with a variety of antioxidants may be more cost effective.

At this stage, I wouldn’t recommend krill oil unless you want to pay a high premium for very small capsules. Spend your money on double-strength capsules.

[1] Ulven, et. al., Metabolic effects of krill oil are essentially similar to those of fish oil butat a lower dose of EPA and DHA, in healthy volunteers. Lipids 2010-11-02

 

 

Monday 24th October, 2011

Metabolic Jumpstart Partners with Step into Life Group Outdoor Personal Training for breakthrough results

MJ Partners with Step into LifeI'm exited to announce a national partnership to provide Australians with a new solution for weight management by combining the best strategies for diet and fitness at over 160 locations around the country.

And there's a special BONUS for Step into Life Members.

Group Outdoor Personal Training fitness Franchise, Step into Life has partnered with me to provide my Metabolic Jumpstar program through Step into Life Group Outdoor Personal Trainers who are Certified as Metabolic Jumpstart Coaches.

When you combine diet and exercise, you can achieve breakthrough results because these two elements optimise your metabolism. I've provided Metabolic Jumpstart diet plans to over 10,000 Australians and am excited to work with Step into Life to give many more consumers a new, effective and motivating option for weight management.

All Metabolic Jumpstart diet plans are designed by me and my team of qualified Dietitians based on an online personal profile. Each plan is matched for a range of factors that influence metabolic rate. Plans are available for both weight loss, maintenance, and weight gain. A four-week Jumpstart program and ongoing weekly MJ Club online support is also available.

The partnership provides complimentary Metabolic Jumpstart Club Membership valued at $120 a year for Step into Life Members who register for the program.

Larry Cohen, Founder of Step into Life says, "At Step into Life, we specialise in motivating and supporting people to become active in the great outdoors. Now, we are looking forward to offering an energising nutrition solution. All our Trainers have been certified to deliver the Metabolic Jumpstart program and are eager to inspire more Australians get into shape."

By focusing on metabolism, rather than weight loss, and using simple, motivational techniques, Metabolic Jumpstart offers a positive, fresh approach to weight management.

To register for my program - Matt O'Neill's Metabolic Jumpstart:

> Speak to your Step into Life Trainer.

> Call 1300 134 136, or

> Go to this web link to learn morehttp://www.stepintolife.com/nutrition.php


Monday 29th August, 2011

Register for my Spring Jumpstart Monday 5th Sept

We're Jumpstarting again!
This is the Spring to register (or re-register) to optimise your metabolism for automatic fat loss results with a diet plan and program that's matched for YOU!

I'm ready to give you a nudge (or a big kick in the pants) to ensure you make the switch to nutrient rich eating and metabolic fitness.

My Spring 4-Week Metabolic Jumpstart gives you, your family and friends a metabolically matched diet plan, report and program... a whole system to achieive breakthrough results.

It's only $49.95 to participate (join MJ Plus for just $9.95 / month for stacks of extra benefits). The is not a fad diet. It's real food, matched for your needs to optimise your metabolism. Just look at the feedback I've been getting

To join my Spring 4-Week Jumpstart, simply register by mid-night Thursday 1st September. I know this can change the way you eat for good, so please jump in and register now. If you've already done MJ and need another nudge, click "I'd like to re-register" at the start of the Profile. 

Get your family, friends, clients, workmates to join you. You'll each get an individual plan and report form me. Here's how to tell others.

Big cheers for a healty and fit Spring. I'm looking forward to giving you a good Jumpstart.

 

Thursday 4th August, 2011

We're Jumpstarting again! Registrations now open

YouTube Announcement


After a mammoth website rebuild following the hacking of our previous host company, we're back taking new registrations. If your program was affected by the rebuild period, I have emailed you to ask if you'd like to Jumpstart again fresh. 

We did lose Profiles for some people. If you are affected, I have emailed you to request that you re-enter your Profile and Jumpstart fresh. 

Thank you so much for your patience and support, while I've undertaken this challenging rebuild process. Now, it's back to Mission Metabolism to Jumpstart the Nation to eat well, move more and build a healthy metabolism. I've got some exciting things planned, so please follow updates on Facebook and Twitter.

It's great to be Jumpstarting again! Cheers, Matt

 

Monday 16th May, 2011


Congratulations prize winners in our Nutrient Rich Fitness event competitions, valued at over $4000.

Fighting FitOn Tuesday 29th March the Australian Apple, Avocado and Banana Industries presented Nutrient Rich Fitness - A CEC Event for Fitness Professionals.

Here are the lucky winners of the competitions related to this special event.

Lucky Door Prize
Deborah Sinclair from Morpeth, NSW won our event Lucky Door prize of a $500 Gift Voucher from either Lorna Jane, The Athlete's Foot or Red Balloon.

Client Prize
Margot Lloyd from Chase, NSW has won the $2000 Queensland Sunlover Holiday. Margot got all the quiz questions correct and sent in her proof of purchase for either apples, avocados or bananas. 

Most Clients Entered in Client Prize
Pamela Glover from Northlakes, NSW had the most clients entered in the Client Prize and has won a $500 Gift Voucher from either Lorna JaneThe Athlete's Foot or Red Balloon.

Most Clients Referred to Metabolic Jumpstart
Rhiannon Lovell referred the most clients to Metabolic Jumpstart and has won the $500 Gift Voucher from either Lorna JaneThe Athlete's Foot or Red Balloon.

YouTube Video Prize
Shane Murphy from Roseville Chase won the $500 Gift Voucher from either Lorna JaneThe Athlete's Foot or Red Balloon for publishing the best YouTube clip featuring either Australian apple, avocados or bananas.

On behalf of the Australian AppleAvocado and Banana Industries and Metabolic Jumpstart, thanks to all who attended and shared the nutrient rich fitness message.



Tuesday 19th April, 2011

Congratulations Emma Miller, from Fighting Fit who has won my 'MJ Club System' valued at over $4000.

Fighting FitEmma Miller from Fighting Fit in Cairns, Qld entered this competition at my Metabolic Jumpstart at Stand L58 during the Australian Health & Fitness Expo, Sydney 15-17th April and has won the complete set-up of her Metabolic Jumpstart Club.

Here's what Emma has won:

20 Jumpstarts for her clients, valued at $1000 - Includes Diet plans, Reports and Program.

20 MJ Plus + 12-Month Client Memberships, valued at $2400
- Every one of the 20 clients also receive a 12-month subscription to my MJ Plus + Membership, packed with recipes, tools, expert advice and support.

Promotional Material, valued at $500
- Emma will receive an MJ Floor Banner (see right), MJ Posters, Brochures and Badges to jumpstart your marketing.

MJ Coach Certification, valued at $300 - A place in my MJ Certified Coach Course for the training to start a MJ Club System.

Total retail value of your MJ Club System is $4200. 

Big cheers Emma! 

Want to know more about the new MJ Club System?
Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Wednesday 13th April, 2011

Chef Alan BrownDownload 6 Fantastic Fruit Recipes from Michelin Star Chef, Alan Brown

Here are the Recipes that our amazing Chef, Alan Brown created for Nutrient Rich Fitness - A CEC Event for Fitness Professionals, on Tuesday 29th March. Proudly presented by the Australian Apples, Avocados and Bananas.

See the recipe photos. Download a PDF of each recipe below:

#1 Apple Tart
#2 Apple & Walnut Salad
#3 Avocado Smoothie
#4 Avocado Bruschetta
#5 Banana Lime Yoghurt Dressing With Grilled Chicken
#6 Banana Strudel

For more fruit recipes, visit Australian Apples, Avocados and Bananas.


Tuesday 12th April, 2011Fitness Expo

Countdown to FILEX 2011...
3 Days to go!


Map to find Metabolic Jumpstart Stand L58 at the Australian Fitness & Health Expo.

Metabolic Jumpstart will be at Stand L58 at the Australian Health & Fitness Expo, Sydney 15-17th April. Come and visit to learn about my powerful program, register for some great BONUSES below or find out how my new MJ Club System can solve the nutrition challenge for Fitness Professionals.

Here's how to find us

Stand L58 down on the
right hand side of the Talking Fitness Stage. Follow the arrows below to find us. Look for a while stand with my piccies! Download a larger map.


Metabolic Jumpstart at Fitness Expo

See you in 3 days at Stand L58 at the Australian Health & Fitness Expo,. Cheers, Matt




Friday 8th April, 2011Fitness Expo

Countdown to FILEX 2011...
7 Days to go!


WIN a 'MJ Club System' valued at over $4000 to jumpstart your own weight loss program.

Fitness Professionals & Businesses - Register for Metabolic Jumpstart at Stand L58 during the Australian Health & Fitness Expo, Sydney 15-17th April, for your chance to win the complete set-up of your weight loss program in partnership with Matt O'Neill's Metabolic Jumpstart. Already a MJ Official Partner or Coach?You can enter too if you come and see us at the Expo!

MJ Floor BannerWhat's included in your MJ Club System Prize? Launching at the Expo!

To celebrate the launch of my new MJ Club System at the Expo, I'm giving away to one lucky winner:

20 Jumpstarts for your first clients, valued at $1000 - You get your first 25 client Diet plans, Reports and Program included.

20 MJ Plus + 12-Month Client Memberships, valued at $2400
- Every one of your 25 clients will also receive a 12-month subscription to my MJ Plus + Membership, packed with recipes, tools, expert advice and support.

Promotional Material, valued at $500
- You'll get an MJ Floor Banner (see right), MJ Posters, Brochures and Badges to jumpstart your marketing.

MJ Coach Certification, valued at $300 - You'll also receive a place in my MJ Certified Coach Course to ensure you have the training to start your MJ Club System.

Total retail value of your MJ Club System is $4200. To enter for your chance to win this great weight loss program set-up, you need to register for Metabolic Jumpstart at the Expo and complete and entry form.

See you in 7 days at Stand L58 at the Australian Fitness & Health Expo. Cheers, Matt




Tuesday 5th April, 2011Health & Fitness Expo

Countdown to FILEX 2011...
10 Days to go!


Get a Lucky BONUS when you Register for MJ at the Australian Health & Fitness Expo, April 15-17

I'm proud to announce the Metabolic Jumpstart Event Partners Lucky Nuts and Sunsol Muesli for the Australian Health & Fitness Expo at Darling Harbour.

See us at Metabolic Jumpstart - Stand L58

Lucky 6PackYou'll receive a BONUS Luck Nuts 6-Pack, valued at $5 when you register for Metabolic Jumpstart at the Expo, 15th-17th April. First 300 Registrations!

What's on for MJ at FILEX and the Expo?

Register for Metabolic Jumpstart at the Expo - Visit us at Stand L58 to register for your metabolically matched diet Plan, Report and Program. It's easy and we'll guide you. You also get a Lucky 6-Pack BONUS.

See me (Matt) at the MJ Stand
- Come and say 'Hi' to me and the MJ Team, get diet advice and expert tips as part of the event's Celebrity Appearances.

Free Talks
- I'll be on the Talking Fitness Stage explaining how a nutrient rich diet enhances your metabolism and helps you stay in shape automatically. Come and listen at 2.30pm Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and 2.00pm Sunday 17th April.

MJ Coach Certification Information - Visit us to learn about how to become a MJ Certified Coach and deliver my powerful program to your clients.

I'm launching the MJ Club System for Fitness Professionals and Businesses - See us to learn about my new MJ Club System which allows you to start, build and manage your own Metabolic Jumpstart program participants and members.

FILEX Convention Sessions - I'm presenting 3 sessions at the FILEX Convention; Metabolic Motivator 3.30-5.00pm Friday 15th, Remote Control Results 8.00-9.30am Saturday 16th and Calorie Counting - Cure or Con? Sunday 3.00-4.30pm.

See you in 10 days at FILEX and The Australian Fitness & Health Expo. Cheers, Matt



Tuesday 11th January, 2011

MJ's 'Nutrient Rich Kids Guide' will help parents

kidsMum's on meal replacements and Dad's doing a liquid-only detox to shed the Christmas kilos.

Think about it... what sort of messages does this send to children about healthy, nutrient-rich eat eating?

Only mixed up messages about quick fixes, fad diets and little about eating wholesome food in the correct balance. It's time to stop this and help kids learn how to eat well before they get totally screwed up about food. And it is possible to teach them!

I've received so much feedback from parents saying how Metabolic Jumpstart, it's simple food group system and powerful eating ideas can be used to teach their children.

"Doing Metabolic Jumpstart had a big impact on my kids because they now know and ask for vegetables at home and in their lunch box. Who would have thought?"
- Sue Carmichael, Mum

That's why during January, with the help of superstar MJ Dietitian, Heather Mitchell, I'm putting together the
Metabolic Jumpstart Nutrient Rich Kids Guide for parents.

Nutrient Rich Kids won't be a diet for kids and they won't get their own MJ Plan because kids don't need diet plans. What they need are parents who follow MJ and also follow my guide to teach their kids about the MJ way of eating. Children then automatically eat better.

We're putting together tips, tools and advice you can share with your kids, while you are doing Metabolic Jumpstart. Here's a peak at what I mean, based on my 4 MJ Principles.

1. Re-Energise your diet - Teach kids about how foods fit into food groups. Why each food group is important. Simple Targets for fruit and vegetables and fun ways to eat them.

2. Re-Wire your appetite - Listen to your belly and your body tell you that you are genuinely hungry. It's OK to leave food on your plate if you are full. Always try new foods.

3. Re-Ignite Your Metabolism - How your metabolism works and why you should move your body. Making family fitness automatic and fun.

4. Re-Balance for Mood - Why fake food affects your mood. How good food makes you feel better. How to reward without resorting to sweets and treats.

The Nutrient Rich Kids Guide will be available online later in January for current and new members of MJ Plus + (join when you register or upgrade to MJ+ Membership). We'll start with the basics and add to it from there.

I hope it will be just the nudge and the practical help parents can use to help the whole family make the switch to nutrient rich eating and achieve a healthy weight.

What would you like to see in my Nutrient Rich Kids Guide? Share them on my Metabolic Jumpstart page on Facebook and friend me for updates while you are there.


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Wednesday 8th December, 2010

Your Festive Food Survival Guide?

Festive Food

OK, nutrient-rich eating isn't always top priority at Christmas, but to avoid feeling uncomfortable come New Year its time to adopt one of more of these ideas.

Here are 7 top festive food and fitness strategies:

Also grab the Tip Sheet PDF downloads below to share!

1. Fill up on salad > Put salad at the top of your meal ingredient list. It's the Summer of Salad and you can fill up as much as you like.

2. Put away the nibbles > You can eat a whole meal worth of calories between meals, so once people have had a snack put them away.

3. Ban chocolate > Sounds like I'm Scrooge, but placing a high-calorie treat ban (or limit) on guests at Christmas keeps your environment healthy. You'll still have enough goodies, I'm sure.

4. Only active gifts > Buy the kids active gifts like scooters, totem tennis sets, pool toys, water pistols and balls... then play with them.

5. Give away left overs > I don't want any excuses mid-January that you are still finishing off Christmas left-overs. Better to give leftovers to guests. Even better, don't prepare too much food.

6. Plan an active Boxing Day > If you overdo it on Christmas day, make boxing day a day at the beach, play backyard cricket or go for a long walk.

7. Keep walking > If you choose not to watch what you eat, make sure you keep your walking up. You can feel good about maintaining the habit.

Download my MJ Tip Sheets to print and share:

PDF Partying Without the Pounds

PDF Waist-wise Christmas Tips

PDF Low-fat Festive Food Tips


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Monday 8th November, 2010

Paleo Diet - Do we need to eat like cavemen?

eating personalityHere's the Q&A from the interview...

Q: First off... our bodies have changed substantially in the thousands of years since our ancestors lived in caves. Has our digestive system changed too?
A: This diet says our bodies are not designed to eat any food after agriculture started, so that counts out dairy, grains, legumes, potatoes and processed oils, like olive oil. But we have evolved to process more than wild animals and plants than for the basis of the Paleo or Caveman diets.

Q: This weight-loss diet goes heavy on meat. You've told us before that LEAN meat is best... but how much is too much?
A: If yo don't eat dairy it's highly likely you'll end up with a calcium deficiency unless you take supplements. We now think adequate calcium helps fat cells work properly. Low-fat dairy, like skim milk, yoghurt and cottage cheese are really good weight loss foods.

Q: Vegetables
are included... so are fruit and nuts... but no carbohydrates. Don't we need carbs?
A: You still get carbohydrate from fruit and some seeds, but if you follow the Paleo strictly for weight loss, you'll be on a low-carb diet which for most people won't be sustainable. Sure, all of us should cut back on sugar and processed carbs, like white bread, buns or cakes. But eating whole grain cereals and legumes or beans for carbs os OK.

Q:
Since cavemen didn't keep animals, there's no dairy intake here either. Surely that can't be good?
A: Its the heavy consumption of fatty meats, like salami, sausages and deli meats that will increase your risk of bowel cancer. As for lean meat, particularly wild game meat, birds and fish, its a different story. Recommendations for red meat vary between 3-4 serves a week to 2 serves a day if you are a big eater. If your meat is trim and you also eat nutrient-rich diet, that is more important.

Q:
Processed foods are banned altogether... so there are benefits. Who stands to get the most out of giving it a try?
A: The idea behind the Paleo diet is really positive - say no to our high-fat, high-sugar processed Western diet that is making us obese and eat clean like a caveman - lean game meats, nuts, seeds, wild vegetables. But in practice, unless you leave the office and become a hunter-gatherer, you'll need to embrace the nutrient-rich, natural elements of the Paleo diet.

Q:
There are reports of lowered blood pressure in proponents of this diet. Are there other health benefits?
A:Switching from the typical Western diet to a Paleo style diet will cut your sodium intake down dramatically, and likely cause a reduction in high blood pressure. I'd also expect blood cholesterol to go down and most certainly you'll lose weight. but you'll get these benefits anyway, just as long as you eat a nutrient-rich diet that does have dairy, legumes and not too many potatoes.

 

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Matt's 24 hour inflight feedingWednesday 25th August, 2010

My 24-Hour plane food experiment

MJ Exchanges & total energy?

Two weeks ago I flew Brittish Airways to the UK for a MJ Coach Certification Course and thought I'd check the food on offer for total energy and MJ Food Group Exchanges. Here's what I discovered I had eaten over a 24 hour period of only consuming inflight meals. Frequent travellers beware.


Meal 1 - 5.00pm Sydney time, Dinner 2 hours into flight to Singapore


Starts with Salad (1 Cup = 1 Veg Exchange) with 5g salad dressing = 1 Healthy Oil
200mL Apple juice = 1 Fruit Exchange
Beef Cassarole with 50g meat = 1/2 Protein, 1/2 Cup pasta = 1 Starch, 1/2 Cup cooked vegetables = 1 Veg and guess 5g added polyunsaturated fat = 1 Healthy Oil and 5g added saturated fat = 1 Extra.
1 Small bread roll = 1 Starch with 10g butter = 2 Extras
1 Sticky date slice = 1200 kJ / 300 Cal = 4 Extras
200mL red wine = 2 Extras

Total for meal = 4350 kJ / 1040 Cal
2 Veg, 1 Fruit, O Dairy, 1/2 Protein, 2 Healthy Oils, 2 Starch, 9 Extras

Meal 1




















Meal 2 - 8 hours after Meal 1, Dinner, just after leaving Singapore for London

 

Starts with Coleslaw (1 Cup = 1 Veg Exchange) with 5g salad dressing = 1 Healthy Oil
Tomato Chicken with 50g meat = 1/2 Protein, 1 Small potato mached = 1 Starch, 1/2 Cup cooked vegetables = 1 Veg and guess 5g added polyunsaturated fat = 1 Healthy Oil and 5g added saturated fat = 1 Extra.
1 Small bread roll = 1 Starch with 10g butter = 2 Extras
1 Jelly = 600 kJ / 150 Cal = 2 Extras
200mL red wine = 2 Extras

Total for meal = 2450 kJ / 590 Cal
2 Veg, 0 Fruit, O Dairy, 1/2 Protein, 2 Healthy Oils, 2 Starch, 7 Extras

Meal 2




















Meal 3 - 3 Hours before London & 20 hours into flight, Breakfast

Starts with Fruit salad (1 Cup = 1 Fruit Exchange)
Tub yoghurt 150mL - 3/4 Dairy
Cup 150mL orange juice = 3/4 Fruit
English breakfast with 50g meat = 1/2 Protein, 1/2 Tomato + Miushrooms = 1/2 Veg, 1 Scrambled egg= 1/2 Protein guess 5g added saturated fat = 1 Extra.
1 Small bread roll = 1 Starch with 10g butter = 2 Extras

Total for meal = 2550 kJ / 600 Cal
1/2 Veg, 2 Fruit, 3/4 Dairy, 1 Protein, 0 Healthy Oils, 1 Starch, 3 Extras.

Meal 3




















24 Hour (1 Day total)

Total energy intake = 9350 kJ / 2230

Wow... and that's without snacks! Beware the Extras in the form a wine, desserts and added butter. These combined to provide 19 Extras = 5700kJ / 1300 Cal, which is over half of the energy I consumed. Frequent travellers should have a plan to modify their inflight meals, otherwise risk blowing your Calorie Cap.

Tips

Pre-order a low-fat, low-cholesterol or diabetic meal
Resist adding butter to bread rolls
Skip dessert
Order mineral water from the drinks cart


If you would like me to design you a metabolically matched diet plan that will show you how many Exchanges of each nutrient-rich food group you should eat, simply register for your Metabolic Jumpstart.

 

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Wednesday 4th August, 2010

What's your eating personality & how do you manage it?

eating personalityKnowing your natural eating style is important because you can then match the right management strategy.
Which of the four categories below apply to you? If you are not yet applying the tips, take this as your jumpstart to start now... you'll have more days on Target.


Habitual Eater

You eat to a repeating pattern.
The time of the day dictates your meals. You've become a captive to your own habits which causes you to eat a limited and nutrient-poor variety of foods. Your chocolate cravings may simply be a habit that can be easily broken.

Tips – Keep healthy food handy so it's your habitual first choice, Write reminders to take you off autopilot, Know that your taste buds do change


Social Eater

You eat what other people dictate. Your diet is often hijacked at parties and social get-togethers. You tend you think you can't control your eating because other people and situations do.

Tips – Go out to eat with a plan, Move away from the food after you've got your smaller potion, Practice saying 'No' to people who offer you food or to refill your drink.


Emotional Eater

You use food to improve your mood. When you are feeling a bit down or high, food is the answer. But this often backfires and a low follows leaving you feeling guilty.

Tips – Say STOP & question a craving when you feel it building, Build non-food emotional outlets into your life, Recruit support to question you when you turn to cookies, cake or chocolate.


Biological Eater

You respond to chemical cravings and may have some form of true biological addiction to specific foods. For example, you might crave carbohydrates in response to a serotonin imbalance. You get frustrated when you get cravings or feel really hungry when you can't identify an obvious trigger.

Tips – Eat nutrient-rich to nourish your body with the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that may biologically solve your cravings for you, monitor your appetite carefully, identify trigger foods and have a healthier substitute ready.

Yes, you can have characteristics of all four styles above. In fact, all of us need to manage each style to maximise success. When you put some effort in to do this, you will experience fantastic results.

Here's the Morning Show Segment to explain some more:

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Thursday 29th July, 2010

Parents' role modelling options.

Why there's only one good choice!

Kids learn fast by mimicking their parents behaviour. That's why all the experts list positive food and fitness role modelling by parents as vital to encourage the development of healthy eating habits for children.

As a parent, I know this places a lot of pressure on us (adults) to eat well and be active ourselves, rather than make junk food a habit. There are all sorts of diets adults can try to help them eat better, but could some actually back-fire and present another bad model for your kids?

Here are three role modelling options to show what I'm thinking:

1. Eat junk food regularly
– No brainer here that your kids will pick up the idea that eating rubbish is normal. Why would they want to eat healthy, nutrient-rich food if you don't. Other parents and kids might eat well, but they don't have as powerful an influence in crafting poor eating habits. The longer parents are not eating healthy, the harder it becomes for the whole family to make the change to healthy eating.

2. Repeat dodgy diets
– Although intentions may be positive, demonstrating dieting behaviour may be just as damaging as demonstrating fast food behaviour. Restrictive eating, draconian diet rules and deprivation are easily picked up by young minds and risks undermining ideas of healthy eating.

3. Eating nutrient-rich
– The third option is the recommended option. It is about working towards making nutrient-rich foods a normal part of family dinners and school lunch boxes. Food group based eating that includes Vegetables, Fruit, Dairy, Protein, Healthy Oils and Starches helps adults and children understand what is in food and how diets are balanced. It's not about restrictive dieting or calorie counting. It is simply setting daily targets for food groups (for example, 2 pieces of fruit) for mums, dads and the kids.

So, the point of this blog - to inspire adults to break the junk food habit and the dieting habit and embrace nutrient-rich eating.

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Tuesday 20th July, 2010

The 7 Stages of dieting!

Which one are you in?


I'm always giving people nudge (or a boot in the pants) to enhance their diet, but I never expect you to be perfect from day one.

Knowing the normal stages of dieting can help you feel better about the progress you are making rather than expect to stay on Target all the time.

After reading the stages below, choose the number that best describes where you are right now.

1. I don’t want to change my diet and I’m not planning to
– You probably don’t see a need to improve your diet or you haven’t established important reasons to change what you are doing. Consider how your weight and health will suffer if you don’t make changes now. Don't put off making plans for positive changes.

2. I’m thinking about changing my diet
– You know why you want to make changes but you haven’t started, either because you don’t have a plan or are dwelling on what you’ll have to give up. At this stage, list the benefits of a better diet and commit to a date to start your diet.

3. I’ve started to change my diet
– Well done! Now you need to make healthier food choices, easier choices. Make specific plans for how you’ll eat well at home, work or at social events.

4. I eat healthy foods because I know it will help me manage my weight
– You’ve made some positive changes, but it still takes some effort to counter old habits and cravings. Focusing on your goals and accepting occasional slip ups ensures that you are successful.

5. I enjoy healthy foods. They taste better and it’s becoming a habit
– Your taste buds are now on your side. Fatty or sugary foods are now a turn-off. Your new healthy habits are working for you most of the time.

6. Healthy eating is now automatic for me and part of my new lifestyle
– You may wonder how you ate what you did before you started dieting. You choose healthy foods without feeling deprived and it doesn’t feel like a diet.

7. I obsess about eating wel
l
– You’re too serious about counting calories and you find it hard to enjoy food. The stress elevates your cortisol hormone, which triggers cravings, retains abdominal body fat and makes matters worse. It's time to chill out about your diet. It’s helpful to reassess your habits and goals to see whether they are working for you or against you.

Moving forward through the first six stages is normal and can take time. It’s normal to experience slip ups and have days when you feel you’ve gone back a stage. If you feel you’ve reached stage seven, try to go easy on yourself. Success can be achieved between stages four and six.

If you'd like a metabolically matched diet plan and 4-week program to help you find the right stage of dieting, click here to learn more. Here's what others have said about MJ.

The 7 Stages above have been modified from the Prochaska & DiClemente's Stage of Change Model for Behaviour Change.

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Monday 12th July, 2010

Night-time eating... argh!Ovoid overeating at night

3 Reasons why you overdo it & 3 rules to overcome it

Your diet is going so well until night-time and then you blow it! You eat too much at dinner and the post-dinner munchies shoot you well beyond your calorie budget for the day. If only the day had ended at lunch you'd be OK. Sound familiar?

Let's get practical. Here's why we overeat at night...

 

Food eaten at night is NOT more likely to be stored as body fat as long as you stay at or under your energy budget (or "calorie cap") for the day. Even so, you still need to consider the reasons why you might eat too much at night and then implement some practical strategies to cut back on what you eat late in the day.

So, here are the three most common reasons why people overeat from dinner onwards.

Reason #1 > Lack of planning

If you don’t eat enough during the day you risk being hungry at night. If you skip breakfast, are too busy for lunch, or forget to snack, you leave yourself open to overeating in the evening. By planning your food for the day, and taking time out to eat regularly, you can satisfy your fuel needs and avoid overfilling late in the day.

Reason #2 > Social sabotage

Your diet may be healthy until you come home and sit down at the table with other people. It is in these situations where you may feel obliged to eat everything served by your caring partner, mother or friend. Or you might simply overeat during long social meals. To manage this feeding pressure, make your diet plans known to those at home. Recruiting their support will work in your favour. As for the belief that you should clean your plate, learn a new mantra, “It’s better to go in the waste than around my waist!”


Reason #3 > Emotional Reward

After a stressful day, food can sooth and relax. Chocolate, cookies, cake or chips work wonders at delivering instant relief. Eating is also an effective short-term strategy to beat night-time boredom. Identifying an evening stress or boredom-food link is the first step. You then need to establish alternative emotional rewards. This is not always easy, but is an important aspect of successful weight management. Ask the question, “What can you do in the evening that would reduce the need to eat?”


New rules for night-time eating

Rule #1 > Catch up on your nutrition

The evening meal is an opportunity to achieve an optimised, nutrient-rich diet for that day. For example, if you haven’t eaten your Target serves of fruit during the day, aim to have some fruit salad for dessert. Eat a little less of your main dish if needed. If you have missed out on vegetables during the day, make your evening meal veggie-based; a stir fry, vegetable lasagna or a salad. Being switched on to rounding out your nutrient-rich diet at dinner will help optimise your metabolism.


Rule #2 > Eat enough to get to bed

Unless you are an athlete or exercising strenuously in bed, you won't need to carb-load or eat big at night. Serve a smaller portion on a smaller plate, take the edge off hunger and then get to bed. If you are asleep, you won't feel hungry until morning. Then you can start another day of nutrient-rich eating with a healthy breakfast that you are hungry for.


Rule #3
> Close the kitchen

Restaurants do it, so you should to. Close the kitchen after dinner do you can't keep popping back to the pantry or fridge for nibbles. If this doesn't work mentally, put a sign up saying "Kitchen Closed" to remind you or get one of those fancy red barriers to put in the kitchen doorway. Simple and highly effective.


If overeating at night is your stumbling block, then address the reasons above and implement the rules. You'll see better results and have greater control. If you'd like a metabolically matched diet plan and program to help you reduce overeating at night, click here to learn more.

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Monday 21 June, 2010

Lift weights or get diabetes - Why muscle matters more than ever


Lift weightsWe’ve all heard the saying, “Use it or lose it!” and can picture getting somewhat soft and flabby if we don’t keep up our exercise regime. But based on a new research, our mantra may need to become a little more targeted to say, “Lift weights or get diabetes!”

Blunt I know, but the evidence that muscle mass is vital to stay lean and healthy is mounting. Specifically, it appears that if the progressive loss of muscle mass as we age, called sarcpopenia, accelerates then you may be at greater risk of obesity, insulin resistance and then type 2 diabetes.


Muscle loss linked to diabetes even without obesity

Take this paper, published on May 26th. Researchers at the University of California crunched the numbers on over 14,000 US adults who had bioelectrical impedance (BI) tests for muscle mass and compared their scores with their Body Mass Index and blood tests for diabetes.

Sarcopenia was associated with:
> Higher blood sugars in obese individuals
> Greater insulin resistance in non-obese (normal weight and overweight)

And the link was stronger in people less than 60 years versus older subjects. The scientists revealed that losing muscle, INDEPENDENT of obesity is associated with adverse glucose metabolism.

Just how much muscle can you lose?

Sarcopenic obesity (lower muscle mass AND obesity) is seen in 5-10% of people in their 60’s, rising to over 50% in those aged over 80 years. And up to 50% of muscle may be lost by the age of 90 years. This is why frail, old people don’t weigh much and break bones easily when they fall.

Muscle protects against diabetes 3 ways

Firstly, muscle burns up sugars helping to keep blood glucose levels normal. With more muscle, you’ve got a larger depot for glucose disposal.

Secondly, the latest buzz from the metabolism labs suggests muscle helps reduce low-grade cellular inflammation that is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Chemicals called myokines, found in skeletal muscle counteract pro-inflammatory cytokines from fat cells. Keep or gain muscle and you stack the odds in favour of victory to the myokines and subsequent metabolic health.

Thirdly, muscle burn calories. Every kilogram of muscle burns around 10 calories a day just sitting there, before you even move a muscle. This doesn’t sound like much but a 5 kg muscle loss equates to around 2.5 kg of extra body fat. Keep muscle and keep lean.

The UCLA researchers recommended, “In this environment, interventions aimed at increasing muscle mass in younger ages and preventing muscle loss in older ages may have the potential to reduce type 2 diabetes risk.”

Get into the gym

I know not everyone is into weight lifting and gyms, but I hope that this goes a long way to convince you why you should be. Grandma got her weights workout just lifting washing baskets and the old-school iron that was actually made of iron.

We sit too much and don’t lift much stuff, so we need to take up some form of resistance training to reduce the risk of sarcopenia and help optimise our metabolism for years to come.

You may even surprise yourself and enjoy feeling fit, strong and healthy from lifting weights. When’s your next workout?

Related video:
MJTV Ep#1 - Muscle burns calories

Original study:
Srikanthan P, Hevener AL, Karlamangla AS (2010) Sarcopenia Exacerbates Obesity-Associated Insulin Resistance and Dysglycemia: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III. PLoS ONE 5(5): e10805. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010805
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0010805

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Tuesday 15 June, 2010

Diet > Obesity > Puberty > Health risk. What's the link?


SunriseDid a segment on 7's Sunrise this morning on the above topic which provides another strong reason for parents should help their daughters build healthy eating habits from a young age and avoid obesity.

Here's the Q&A from the interview...Puberty and diet

Q: Why are we seeing the trend to towards earlier onset of puberty in girls?
A: We've seen a fall in age of puberty, particularly over the last 100 years due to general improvements in nutrition. More nourished means the body is ready for puberty, although young minds may be ill prepared. Puberty is delayed in developing countries where nutrition is poor.

Q: Are there any health implications of early puberty in girls?
A: Yes, with early menarche (onset of menstruation) comes increased lifetime exposure to oestrogens, which could increase risk of breast cancer. There is possibly and increased risk of ovarian cancer too, but a reduced risk of osteoporosis with earlier menarche.

Q: And a new study links diet to earlier puberty?
A: Yes, a group of 3000 girls in England has their diet analysed at 3, 7 and 10 years to see if what they ate influenced when they entered puberty. Total calories were related to earlier menache, but that was expected in part in the larger girls. It does however suggest that over-nutrition, leading to obesity could trigger puberty sooner. Anecdotally, we certainly see kids growing and maturing faster these days.

But the most striking finding was that higher animal protein, so mostly meat was related to lower age of onset of menarche. One third of girls had their first period by 12 years 8 months who when they ate 4 or less serves of meat per week compared to half the girls having their first period by 12 years 8 months when they ate more than 12 serves of meat a week. (Link to the study)

Q: How could meat have an effect?
A: Maybe the specific nutrition - protein or iron or zinc - in meat signals to the female body that she can start getting ready for puberty? There was no relationship between age at menarche and vegetable protein, starch, sugar, fibre or vegetable intake.

And the meat-menarche link was not seen in meat eaters versus vegetarians when grouped this way. So, may have just been the girls who ate relatively large volume of meat each week. Remember, 12 serves is almost 2 serves per day in the group of girls who reached puberty sooner.

Q: Could it be anything else in the meat? Hormones?
A: Hormones in meat is always big issue, but hormones are not used routinely in beef, lamb or other animals in Australia. When you see "hormone-free" meat it may get you thinking it's a problem, but its not.

Other chemicals in our food supply and environment, have question marks all over them but none can be directly implicated at this stage. The best advice is to eat as natural as possible, minimise junk food, eat red meat 3-4 times a week and maintain a healthy weight. If you are a family of big meat eaters and you have young girls, this study suggests it's time to ease back on the meat. Mix it up with fish, vegetable protein and more vegetables.

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Thursday 3 June, 2010

Dukan Diet segment on 7's Morning Show



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Wednesday 2 June, 2010

Liquid calories ahead.... proceed with caution


walnuts You might be watching what you eat, but you also need to keep a close eye on what you drink. Liquid calories slide down so easily and are not well regulated by natural appetite mechanisms, so you can blow your daily calorie cap in just a few seconds of drinking.

There are lots of tempting beverages to entice you. Juice bars, smoothie stands and coffee shops at your local mall can be a minefield.

Watch my 7 Morning Show Segment - Drink yourself thin
1 June, 2010

The weekly thickshake habit with the kids can quickly add up to around 4kg of body a year!

Here's the math... 52 weekly 500 calorie think shakes = 26,000 calories. There are roughly 7000 calores in 1 kilogram of body fat. So, 26,000 / 7,000 = 3.7kg. That's just from 1 drink, not counting all the food tipping you over your calorie cap too.

Check out the drinks below and use the calorie counts as an incentive to not to indulge too often.

Large Gloria Jeans Iced Chocolate
= 3260 kJ / 780 Cal = 8 Tim Tams


Better choice = Small, skim milk iced chocolate, no sugar or cream.

Large McDonalds Thickshake
= 2200 kJ / 535 Cal = 5 Tim Tams


Better choice = Small serve, homemade smoothie with skim milk, blueberries, yoghurt and honey.

650mL Boost Juice Tropical Storm Fruit Smoothie
= 1716 kJ / 408 Cal = 4 Tim Tams


Better choice = Limit fruit juice to 1 x 200mL juice per day.

500mL Red Bull
= 1334 kJ / 320 Cal = 3 Tim Tams


Better choice = Water or a limit of 1 x 375mL can a diet soft drink per day.

2 x 200mL white wines
= 1200 kJ / 288 Cal = 3 Tim Tams


Better choice = 2 x 100mL standard glasses or low-alcohol wine

The liquids you drink may be the only think getting between you and that fit, toned body that you've always wanted.

Remember, you don't have to have a thickshake at the mall!


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Thursday 27 May, 2010

Facts about getting omega-3s from non-fish foods


walnutsI'm a big fan of omega-3 fish oil for all sorts of reasons, especially because it appears fish oil helps fat cells work better to keep you leaner. Who would have thought that eating fat would help you lose body fat?

But there are some facts you need to know, especially about getting omega-3's from non-fish food sources. This blog post was triggered by the common question in the MJ online Discussion... "I take flaxseed oil which is high in omega-3's so do I need to take fish oil capsules?"

The answer is Yes, unless you want to take quite a lot of flaxseed oil. Here's how it works:

The really beneficial oils in salmon, tuna and other oily fish are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These are long-chain fatty acids that have a chemical structure which the human body uses relatively easily for many healthy benefits, including a reduction of both heart disease risk and depression.

If you don't eat fish or take fish oil capsules, you'll need to get your omega-3 oils in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which has a slightly different chemical structure and must be converted in the body to have the same benefits as the fish oil variety - DHA and EPA.

So, here's the kicker... only up to a maximum of 10% of the non-fish ALA gets changed into the really healthy DHA and EPA type of oil in our body. The chemical conversion process is really inefficient.

This creates a challenge. Sure, flaxseed oil is about 50% omega-3's but it's the non-fish ALA kind. Doing the math means when you take a 20mL tablespoon of flaxseed oil you get 10mL or 10 gram of ALA of which only about 1 gram ends up as the good stuff in your body.

Flaxseed is an unsaturated oil, so its still healthy but you can see it doesn't pack the potency of fish omega-3s
. Three, 1000mg fish oil capsules containing 300mg DHA and EPA each will give you the same superior omega-3 content as 20 grams of flaxseed oil. You've got to consume twenty times the amount of flaxseed oil.

The same goes for other foods with non-fish omega-3's. Uncle Tobys Plus Omega 3 Lift cereal which is promoted for its omega-3 content contains 200mg ALA in a 40g serve. That's only a 20mg equivalent of DHA and EPA. One 1000mg fish oil capsule has the equivakent of 15 times the amount of DHA and EPA.

Here are some "omega 3 enriched" foods and how they compare for omega-3 oils, along with some natural sources of ALA:

Simply Better Foods Omega 3 Soy Cheese
20g serve = 200mg ALA = 20mg fish oil* *equivalent amount based on 10% conversion

Uncle Tobys Plus Omega 3 Lift
40g serve = 200mg ALA = 20mg fish oil*

Tip Top Sunblest UP Omega 3 Wholemeal
74g 2 slices = 83.6mg ALA, 5.9mg EPA, 26.6 DHA = total 40.9mg fish oil*

Dairy Farmers Omega 3 Milk
250mL serve = 33mg DHA & EPA = 33mg fish oil

Lucky Almond Meal Omega 3 with added DHA
30g serve = 36mg DHA = 36mg fish oil

Flaxseed Oil
20mL table spoon = 11g ALA = 1100mg fish oil*

Canola Oil
20mL tablespoon = 2g ALA = 200mg fish oil*

Walnuts
30g serve = 1800mg ALA = 180mg fish oil*

Non-fish food sources of omega 3's are still good to top up your levels, but they don't go anywhere near what you'll get from sardines and salmon or fish oil capsules.

For more information about omega 3 oils and a diet plan that integrates oily fish and / or fish oil capsules into your Healthy Oil Exchnages, register for a Metabolic Jumpstart and sign-up for the MJ Plus + membership option.

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Monday 17 May, 2010

Jumpstarter beats 1/2 marathon time by 7 mins... yay!


I'm writing this at 7am Monday, as I wanted to share my energy for the day and the week, inspired by Jumpstarter Narelle on my Facebook wall.

I just received this message:

"Thank you so much Matt..I started MJ in Feb through Savvy & you helped change the way I eat.. I lost 10 kg, ran the half marathon today, beat my time by 7 mins & feel absolutely AWESOME.. I want everyone to feel like I do... Thank u Thank u .............:-)
I tell everyone about MJ....... IT ROCKS !!!!!!!!!" - Narelle Wood

 

My reply:

"Narelle, wow... thanks, what a lovely way to start the day. You've inspired my whole week. Big cheer for you and well done on the Halfy. Also big cheer to Savvy Fitness in Wollongong, who are an MJ Official Partner. Thanks for telling people about MJ. Together we'll make a difference with Mission Metabolism to help everyone feel AWESOME! You rock!

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Wednesday 12 May, 2010

Tips to help your kids eat well & move more


Tip to help kidsAs part of our Healthy Kids Jumpstart which begins next week (regos for adults close midnight Thursday 13th May) I'd like to share some tips you can use to help your kids eat well and move more.

Helping an overweight child 363kb PDF PDF
Helping the fussy eater 290kb PDF PDF
Tips for healthy family eating 397kb PDF PDF
Boosting family physical activity 260kb PDF PDF


Why should adults join the Healthy Kids Jumpstart?


Because when adults walk the talk they set a positive example for kids, who mirror their behaviour. It's a chance to break the cycle of obesity. Join is!

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Tuesday 11 May, 2010

When & why I choose organic?


OrganicMonday's 7 Morning Show segment was on organic foods and whether they are worth choosing over conventional food. As part of a nutrient-rich diet, here's what I select, based on the evidence.


Organic fruits and vegetables
> Nutritionally, they average out the same as conventionally grown produce or may be higher in some nutrients that are not nutritionally significant. So, I won't pay a lot more for the same nutrition. I will pay a little more to support bio-dynamic farming and sustainable agriculture when I'm confident the food is Certified Organic.

I wash fruits and vegetables to remove chemical residues and am not concerned about relatively low levels on Australian produce. I choose organic tomatoes because I think they taste better.

Free-range eggs, chicken, pork and other 'organic' animal products > To me, this is an animal welfare issue, so I choose free range animal products rather then caged or penned animals because that's cruel. Free range chicken also seems to have a much better quality of flesh and juiciness, so it wins hands down for an eating experience over regular supermarket chickens. The same applies to pork and sometimes beef and lamb.

As the organic industry grows with consumer demand and prices for organic food fall, I look forward to eating more. In the meantime, the flexibility to eat a nutrient-rich diet from a mix of conventionally grown and organic food makes it easier to hit my dietary targets.

More reading > Choice Magazine on organic

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Tuesday 11 May, 2010

Here's where the money goes... $2 to Healthy Kids Assoc


Raising money for Healthjy Kids$2 for every 17th May Jumpstart or MJ Plus + Membership Upgrade goes to the Healthy Kids Association.


Healthy Kid's General Manager, Jo Gardner says,
"Donations to health kids are used to further the work of helping parents and families understand good nutrition and provide healthy and nutrition meals and snacks to their children. They allow us to travel across NSW to assist schools with food and nutrition programs, develop kitchen gardens, and undertake workshops and seminars.

Healthy Kids works with communities and organisations to improve the health outcomes of children and reduce the incidence of overweight and obesity amongst children, which can severely limit life expectancy."

This means your support helps at the coal face of obesity prevention.

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Sunday 9 May, 2010

Five reasons for adults to register for the Healthy Kids Jumpstart


MJ Coach Level 1I'm Partnering with the Healthy Kids Association to give Canteen Staff, Teachers and Parents a Metabolic Jumpstart in May. Registrations are due by Thursday 13th May for a Monday 17th May start.

Here are five good reasons to register:

(1) When parents eat well it has a positive influence on our children.

(2) Metabolic Jumpstart is based on food groups, so you can use the program to educate your kids about food.

(3) Every adult can get a metabolically matched plan, so everyone can join in.

(4) Your kids will ask for more vegetables

(5) You will enjoy having a better relationship around food with your children.


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Friday 30 Apr, 2010

Announcing at FILEX > MJ Coach Level 1 Certification

MJ Coach Level 1With so many Fitness Professionals referring clients to Metabolic Jumpstart and keen for training to be able to deliver the program, I'm excited to announce MJ Coach Level 1 Certification which will begin with a 1-Day Training Course (and additional pre-course requirements).

This training program will equip and approve Fitness Professionals to deliver the induction session and four weekly MJ sessions for their clients. Fitness Professionals will also be able to charge clients for this valuable face-to-face motivation, guidance and support.

After initial success, this training program will be made available in other locations and online. It is expected to attract 6 CECs from Fitness Australia.

The first 1-Day Course will have limited numbers and be open to MJ Official Partners initially.

The proposed date is Saturday 22nd May for a full-day's dynamic training by Matt O'Neill. Prices will be announced shortly.

If you are interested in Partnering to Jumpstart your clients and the nation, plus give them a one-on-one experience that can change their eating and exercise habits for a lifetime, please let me know you are keen. Click here to email


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Thursday 29 Apr, 2010

New this week in MJ Plus + Membership

Just added Low-Calorie Hunger Busting Snacks, Fitness Ball Workout Guide + Muscle Loss FAQ + 1000 posts in the Discussion.

Join MJ Plus + when you Register Or for existing Jumpstarters, Upgrade to MJ Plus


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Monday 15 Mar, 2010

Why we need metabolic workouts


 


It's time to rethink or refresh how you approach exercise effort.

With more research showing we need to walk for around an hour a day to prevent weight gain (see for example), there is now a case for putting more effort into your workouts.

It's time to get more results for the same time investment and feel good about putting in a little extra effort?

Here's how it works, using the Metabolic Jumpstart Effort Gauge...

Start with Level 1 Activity > Health Movement

2-3 on Your Effort Gauge (above) = Very light > Light
Reducing sitting time and sedentary behaviour by doing more light activity like comfortable walking will enhance your cardiovascular health and boost your wellbeing. Get up from your computer now and write the word 'ZOOM' with your backside. That's Level 1 and we all need to move more in our day. The key here is avoiding being sedentary.

Add Level 2 Activity > Calorie Exercise

4-5 on Your Effort Gauge = Moderate > Comfortably Challenging
Put in a little more effort at a Moderate to Comfortably Challenging level (for example, a brisk walk or jog that you can feel, but that you can keep doing for up to an hour or more at the same pace) and you start burning calories at a rate that will help you get into shape. But if this is the most effort you put in, you may be missing out on the automatic metabolic bonuses that result from boosting your effort a little more. If you are sedentary, have a sedentary job or have been sedentary for some time, you will need to schedule Metabolic Workouts.

Level 3 > Metabolic Fitness

6-8 on Your Effort Gauge = Somewhat hard, Hard > Very Hard
OK, so it may feel Hard and you may not be able to keep up the pace for long, but spending just a few minutes exercising at this higher effort level pays off. Personal Trainers are great to help you here as they can push you, knowing the amazing benefits.

With metabolic fitness workouts not only do you burn energy at a faster rate, you also trigger a range of metabolic benefits not available at lower Effort Scores.

Bonus 1
= Increased fitness so you will find it easier to exercise at any intensity. This means you can burn more calories for the same 20 minute workout when you are pressed for time.

Bonus 2
= Muscle growth and toning in response to increased stimulation of working muscles. Each kilogram of muscle you keep on your body burns 10 calories automatically every day. Just 3kg of muscle makes a 1.5kg body fat difference in a year.

Bonus 3
= Elevated mitochondrial activity in your cells. Mitochondria are the microscopic metabolic furnaces that to keep burning energy, even after you've stopped moving. Sedentary life causes mitochondrial decay - metabolic fitness workouts are the antidote for this

So, the next time you exercise consider putting in a little more effort. The results are worth it and may be what is needed to trigger results or break through a plateau.

We all need more metabolic fitness workouts. When's your next one? Surprise yourself at what you can do!


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Sunday 28 Feb, 2010

Should Weight Watchers be at McDonald's?


Breaking story in NZ Herald today about Weight Watcher's Points appearing on selected menu items at McDonald's in NZ. Many people's reactions... what the?


I'm not surprised, given the shift towards offering "healthier for you" choices at McDonalds and other fast food outlets.


Watch the Today Tonight 'McHealthy' story - Wed 3rd March


So, what are the positives here?


> Highlights healthier menu options.


> Educates people on Weight Watchers Points (roughly 70 Cal / 300 kJ per Point), which is a simple guide to count energy intake.


> May shift food choices towards lower calorie, healthier choices.


But now the negatives


> More families will go to McDonald's because there is something for everyone on the menu. Mum can have a healthy option, but Dad can keep eating the high-calorie burgers.


> More meals get eaten at McDonald's with a decline in food knowledge and cooking skills.


> New 'dieting' customers try to choose the healthier option but get hijacked once they are in the door and opt for less healthy choices. You'll need strong willpower to resist tempting posters of chocolate desserts with taglines like "Treat yourself".


> The Weight Watchers Points system gives diet soft drinks a zero point score, driving increased consumption.


> If only the healthier, lower point options are labelled and promoted, you won't be shown how many Points are in high-calorie options. A Big Mac has 9 Points, a large fries has 6.5 Points and a large thick shake has 8 Points. That's 23.5 Points in total in just one meal and well above a whole day's energy intake in the typical 18 Point Weight Watchers diet plan.


I'm a fan of Weight Watchers' nutrition education, but not of some aspects of the Points system. Points relate for the most part to total calories and make calorie counting seemingly simpler, however they can be abused.


Many times, I've heard the humorous comment, "My Points are perfectly balanced. I have 9 Points of food and 9 Points of alcohol."


Points don't have to be balanced in terms of food groups and nutrient-rich eating to make the system work.


I'm biased because I teach an Exchange system that provides an optimum balance of nutrient-rich foods from all food groups - Vegetables, Fruit, Dairy, Protein, Starches, Healthy Oils and Extras.*


If McDonald's wanted to label ALL their menu items with MJ Exchanges and show customers how Exchanges apply, this is still simple and is less open to abuse.


I'm not pitching for this, but I've seen how confident people become about nutrition and managing their own diet when they know what food groups are and the correct amounts to eat.


I'll be creating an MJ Exchange Guide for McDonald's foods. With so many menu items, it will happen in stages. I'll alert you when it's ready.


In the meantime, I hope the marketers in the WW-McD's meetings rethink their plans.


*Sure, Protein and Starch are not actually food groups. They are nutrients, but Protein covers vegetarian protein options and Starch includes potatoes and other starchy vegetables as well as cereals and grains to keep it simple.


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