Viewing entries tagged

School Summer Slumps


School Summer Slumps

So, everyone has just broken up for the school holidays. 6 weeks of being able to go out every day and be in the sunshine (or rain since it's England). However, no one seems to go out...

The School Summer Slump

Nowadays most children are no longer going out during the school holidays. Due to the amount of technology and gadgets they have such as tablets, phones and games consoles they are staying inside throughout the holidays. Instead of playing out, making dens and riding bike's they sit in front of a screen. 

Without the regular PE sessions and possibly the walk to school, most children are now getting no exercise at all. A study was done showing that over the time spent at school, children's cardio-respiratory systems improved. Yet when tested again after the summer holidays, 80% of this improvement had been lost. 

Dangers of Inactivity

At any age, physical inactivity significantly increases the risk factors of developing deadly diseases such as:

  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure

This is what we put our children at risk of if they do not do any kind of physical activity. 

Small Changes

Only small changes are needed to make sure our children are healthier and reduce the risk of any kind of disease.

Walking 1 mile a day can dramatically reduce their chances of getting any diseases related to inactivity. This takes around 20 minutes out of your day. 

Going out on a family walk, or to play games in the garden can be a great way of making sure the whole family is getting enough exercise. It also gives you more time to spend with your children and develop a better bond with them. 

These small changes can improve your whole family's way of life and make sure your children are fit and healthy. Make sure that exercise becomes a regular part of your life. PE lessons at school sghould not be relied upon for your child to keep fit and stay healthy. 

Summer Holidays


Food for Though #7 - Meal Replacements


Food for Though #7 - Meal Replacements

Why Meal Replacements?

Meal Replacements are usually drinks, similar to milkshakes, and instead of chowing down on a 'rabbit food' salad for lunch, you just have one of these shakes. People see meal replacements as an easy way of losing weight. For some people, this may be true. Since your having meal replacements, you are consuming less calories so therefore can lose weight. But is this sustainable weight loss? 

I could make anyone lose weight by starving them. But as soon as they started eating again the weight would pile back on and often they can end up weighing more than before they lost the weight. 

Whole Food vs Meal Replacements

Meal replacements don't always contain less calories than a normal meal you could make yourself. So, eating whole foods could be more effective at helping you lose weight. Also, they have much more volume than a meal replacement drink meaning you will feel more satisfied and stay fuller for longer.

For example

Meal Replacement              Chicken and Broccoli

Calories                  230                                        186

Sugar                      21g                                         2g

Protein                    15g                                        32g

This shows that less calories can be consumed if we ate a meal consisting of chicken and broccoli. Although this may be a very boring and plain meal it also means that meal replacement shakes are not the best option and not even necessary. 

Having whole foods also means that there is a lot less sugar been ingested. Sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise and for incoming calories to be stored away, usually as fat. This then means we quickly get hungry again. If you don't feel full after a meal you may end up snacking and then the small number of calories you ate quickly rises. 

The protein content in the whole foods is also much higher. Protein is the hardest macro nutrient (carbohydrates, fats and protein) to store as fat. It also has a very high satiety value, meaning you will feel fuller for longer after eating protein. This will help you stop snacking and keep you from feeling hungry. 

What can I do instead?

I know chicken and broccoli doesn't sound the most appetizing meal ever made and I'm not saying that is all you should eat. Most of the time, making your own food instead of buying pre-made meals will cut out a lot of the unnecessary calories anyway. Aiming to have a good source of protein on your plate along with nutritious vegetables is a recipe for a perfect, healthy meal.