Fibre – the latest “superfood”

Fibre – yes I know, it’s not the most exciting thing in the world but a major study has been investigating how much fibre we really need to be eating and has found there are huge health benefits when we eat more.

  • It reduces the chances of debilitating heart attacks and strokes as well as life-long diseases such as type-2 diabetes.
  • It helps keep your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels down.
  • It’s cheap and widely available in the supermarket.
  • It makes us feel fuller and can help digestion and prevent constipation.

The researchers for this study, based at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, and the University of Dundee say people should be eating a minimum of 25g of fibre per day. “The evidence is now overwhelming and this is a game-changer that people have to start doing something about it,” one of the researchers, Professor John Cummings, has told BBC News.

The NHS recommends we should increase our fibre intake to 30g a day as part of a healthy balanced diet. So what does 30g of fibre actually mean?

To increase your fibre intake you could:

  • Choose a higher-fibre breakfast cereal such as plain wholewheat biscuits (like Weetabix) or plain shredded whole grain (like Shredded wheat), or porridge as oats are also a good source of fibre.
  • Go for wholemeal or granary breads, or higher fibre white bread, and choose wholegrains like wholewheat pasta, bulgur wheat or brown rice.
  • Go for potatoes with their skins on, such as a baked potato or boiled new potatoes.
  • Add pulses and legumes such as beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, soups, curries and salads.
  • Include plenty of vegetables with meals, either as a side dish or added to sauces, stews or curries.
  • Have some fresh or dried fruit, or fruit canned in natural juice for dessert. Because dried fruit is sticky, it can increase the risk of tooth decay, so it’s better if it is only eaten as part of a meal, rather than as a between-meal snack.
  • For snacks, try fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, rye crackers, oatcakes and unsalted nuts or seeds.

Did you know? A small handful of nuts can have up to 3g of fibre. Always choose unsalted nuts, such as plain almonds, without any added sugars.

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How a personal trainer can help you get fitter, FASTER!

Welcome to 2019 – it’s that time of year again! Are you looking for extra motivation to reach a particular goal? Perhaps you simply don’t like the gym environment? Or you need support coming back to exercise after a long break?

Whatever your current physical condition, fitness levels or personal goals, one-to-one sessions with a dedicated personal trainer can help you to focus on the things that matter:

  • To set realistic but challenging goals,
  • To track your physical progress,
  • To improve your health and wellbeing,
  • Increase your energy levels,
  • Change your body composition,
  • Discover extra motivation and confidence.

Personal training is about breaking the barriers to help you actively achieve your personal goals, and beyond. Here are some of the different ways a Personal Trainer can help you to win your fitness battles:

1. A constant point of contact

A Personal Trainer will provide a constant point of contact to motivate, inspire and support you. Whatever your questions, goals or concerns, your trainer will provide an educated and qualified answer to help you move forward successfully whenever you need them. Having a PT is a great way to make sure you get out the door in the first place! Most people feel more of a sense of responsibility if they have booked an appointment with a PT.

2. A tailored and evolving programme

Your Personal Trainer will create a unique programme that you can follow either with them or on your own. Your PT should consider your lifestyle, any injuries you may have or any concerns before developing a programme to suit your life.

You can reassess your programme at any time if you feel like you’re getting bored or you’d like to challenge yourself more.

3. Exercising using the correct technique

In metafit we have a mantra – quality of exercise not the quantity – technique wins over every time. How you perform exercises can have a huge effect on how effective that exercise is and also on your safety. The worst thing you can do is copy what other people are doing – they may be performing exercises specific to their own requirements that don’t match with your own. Whilst it may look easy to copy what someone else is doing at the gym or on a video, it’s also easy to develop poor technique and that is something that I work hard to avoid with all my clients.

A Personal Trainer will set a programme that is tailored to you and attend training sessions with you to provide guidance and ensure that you are able to perform the exercises correctly.

4. Clever motivation

People often struggle with motivation after the first few weeks in a gym but a Personal Trainer will help you set achievable goals for each stage of your training.

One of the most common mistakes people make is setting their overall goal without also setting smaller incremental and achievable targets along the way. Achieving these smaller targets will spur you on as you continue your training and will make you more likely to succeed. If one of your goals is to run your first marathon, for example, you might want to focus first on running a 5k, then 10k, then 15k etc.

Your Personal Trainer will be able to break down your goals and monitor your progress along the way, offering helpful and constructive advice if you’re falling behind and giving you praise and encouragement when you’re doing well.

For more information on personal training and your individual needs and expectations, please do contact me for a chat. I offer one-to-one personal training sessions for all clients no matter what your current fitness levels are.