Showing posts from July, 2011

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip - When To Eat The Main Meal

If you were trying to gain weight when would you eat the most in any 24 hour period?

All good Sumo wrestlers know that if you eat a large meal then go to sleep invariably you will gain weight. Your body is at rest and will fully digest any food you eat then store energy as you wont be needing much energy when asleep.

Reasearch shows that the largest meal of the day should be eaten in the middle of your working day (whenever that is) as you will immediately use the energy for activities after the meal.

So try to eat as early as possible if you eat a larger meal at night, don't eat after 9 pm. If possible try to have a larger lunch and a lighter evening meal.

Dr Ben Sinclair
Sinclair Health Limited
The Optimise Clinic

Twitter: @menshealthtips"> Linked In

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip - Apples and Blackberries Encourage Health Goals

You may be reading the blog on your smartphone.

Whether you like Apples, Blackberries or Androids they can be good for your health!

Your command of technology is the key here. You are in the driving seat.

There are many apps that can help you goal set, track and map your road to success.

I used the Apple free app iGoalinformer to help monitor my weight and calorie intake.

I now use TargetWeight app which is simpler as I am not montoring my calorie intake.

I use MAPMYRIDE to track my cycling and adidas MiCoach to track and map my running.

If you have a smart phone check out your app store and look for suitable software.

Even if you are on a desktop there are plenty of free sites competing for your membership to help achieve your goals.

Feel free to post any helpful links in comments below as this is an ever changing marketplace.

Dr Ben Sinclair

Sinclair Health Limited

Twitter: @menshealthtips"Linked In

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip - Get More Sleep

Do you sleep less than 8 hours a day?

Research shows that if you do you are likely to have a shorter lifespan and also more likely to be obese.

When we sleep our bodies have a maintenance program that kicks in to get us ready for the day, but if we cut this short the system can go out of whack.

Along with eating breakfast to kick start the machine, sleep is required to maintain it.

The sleep / wake cycle releases various hormones such as cortisol to prime the body or put it into hibernation for the night.

Working night shifts can interfere with this process, hence those who work permanent nights are more likely to die young and be obese.

So get more sleep! An average of 8 hours a day is about right.

Dr Ben Sinclair Sinclair Health Limited Twitter: @menshealthtips Linked In:

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip: When It All Falls Down

Some plan for the worst, then anything that happens is a bonus.

Some spend all their time planning and never get to the execution phase.

Others never plan at all.

We know from experience that in life accidents happen; some events can't be planned for.

You may have noticed a few gaps in the days on the blog recently.

A few unexpected events have happened recently which pulled the rug out and really challenged my resolve to stay on track with my diet and exercise goals.

So how can we prepare for the unexpected?
What happens to your ideal regime when it all falls down around you?

My challenge was a family emergency on top of the anticipation of becoming a dad any day now.

We had a call in the night and rushed to the bedside of a close relative who had been involved in a hit and run. He is a father of young children, about my age and one of my closest friends.

At that point when we didn't know if he would wake up or if he was going to move or speak or recognise people, all o…

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip- set your goal in stone

Steven Covey the author of 7 habits fame suggests that you write down your goals.

This way you are far more likely to achieve them.

To encourage accountability tell your friends family and work colleagues about your resolve (in brief detail).

You are far more likely to achieve your goal of weight loss and all the other asprirations going with it if you write them down.

Why not start a journal?

Dr Ben Sinclair Sinclair Health Limited Twitter: @menshealthtips Linked In:

BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip - Stay Active at the Weekend

Its tempting to think you need a break from everything at the weekend including your healthy lifestyle plans!

I often lose the motivation as I feel I deserve a treat and need to recover from the exertions and stress of the working week.

However, when I plan some exercise (sooner in the weekend the better) I feel energised and active again, I tend to eat less, feel calmer and more relaxed and sleep better ready for monday.

This weekend plan some fun activity with partner, family or friends - get to the open country, do a new route, plan a day out with keeping active at the heart of it.

Go on, you will feel better!

Dr Ben Sinclair Sinclair Health Limited Twitter: @menshealthtips Linked In:

BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip - Beat the Beer Belly!

What ingredients are used to make beer? Water, hops and sugar. Alcohol as a chemical is closely related to sugar, so its no surprise that alcohol contains alot of energy in the form of carbohydrates.

Alcohol also stimulates hunger so guess what - after a few beers we all need a large kebab!

Alcohol is processed through the liver which is the main processing plant in the body for sugar and other vitamins and dietary breakdown products. If you are drinking alot you will usually gain weight and slow down the of other vital processes; when the liver gets damaged through excess alcohol or sugar it lays down fat.

The recommended units per week for a man are 21.
This means around 10-11 pints of medium strength beer, 21 shots of spirits, or about 2 bottles of wine - but hopefully spread over the week and not all at once!

Take a look at your alcohol intake - if you are exercising you will find more stamina if you reduce alcohol.
Generally you will lose weight faster if you reduce alcohol …

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip - Nudge Your Buddy

If you need to strenthen your resolve you need to buddy up.

Choose someone you know well enough to talk about your weight and who you are happy to accept a challenge from.

Tell them about your aims and get them to keep you accountable through regular communication. If it cuts both ways this is helpful as you are both relying on each other and both able to challenge each other.

Share your challanges, barriers to success and your vices! These are the hardest things to overcome but your buddy may be able to see an alternative.

In the book Nudge a pact between two stockbrokers is described and seems to work very well as a deterrent to weight gain and a successful tool to weight loss - they both realised early on in their careers that with the hard work and hours they put in it was all too easy to gain weight - so they entered into a pact where either one could call a snap weigh in at any time and if the other was over his desired weight limit he paid £10,000 to the other! Apparently n…

BEATHEBELLY Daily Tip - Make or Break - How's it Going?

It is said that it takes 21 days to break a habit, probably it takes the same amount of time to gain a new habit.

So at 21 days after the launch of BEATTHEBELLY its time to review your resolve.

If you signed up and decided to lose a stone by Christmas, how is it going?

Your initial resolve may have faded or been strengthened; you may have started exercising and become injured through excessive enthusiasm; you may have lost alot of weight through a strict diet then lost enthusiasm for a life of boring food!

Now is the time to evaluate your effort and strengthen your resolve; think about asknig for support and neutralise any barriers to success.

Please comment below about what has worked, what has not; what advice has been helpful or useless, and any tips you have for other members of the BEATTHEBELLY community to encourage them on to a healthier life.

more tips to come this week for encouragement!

Dr Ben Sinclair Sinclair Health Limited Twitter: @me…

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip: Wait 20 4 Seconds

I love seconds - helpings of dinner that is.

I normally fill up on the main course, lots of meat and carbs and veg.

I am not really a pudding person because I can't be bothered to make them.

When my wife is away I will sometimes just eat large amounts of grilled steak, baked potato and peas. Once I got an offer on fillet steak and ate a pound of it at one sitting straight from the BBQ.

In Yorkshire men are praised (mostly by older motherly figures) for finishing mammouth plates of food or chastised gently if they do not finish the plate - it can even be rude not to ask for seconds!

So what makes us feel full?

Well the body is pretty savvy and it lets the brain know when your stomach is getting stretched to filling point which in turn flips the switch in your brain to "full"

The problem is that it takes 20 minutes for the message to be received and understood in the brain - in stone-age caveman circumstances, eating slowly and chewing a lot on tough tiger steaks you …

Show how its done: #BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip: Stop the Pop

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip: Shrink Your Plates

I was brought up to finish my plate. Like many of the little chef generation I wanted the prized lolly for finishing my dinner.

Where did this rule of "finish the plate" come from?

I would hazard guess that it comes from my parents who growing up in post-war Britain when rationing was still in force and my father saw his first Banana when he was ten years old.

At that stage food was scarce, high energy food was prized, expensive and considered a luxury treat; in fact any tasty food you got was worth eating, while anything else you got was probably just eaten because you were hungry. So if you didn't finish your plate something was seriously wrong or you were at the very least disrespecting the cook and provider of the meal.

When I was at Uni we did a nutritional survey using ourselves as the guinea pigs.
I found that I was eating 3x the recommended energy requirement per day (even finishing friends leftovers!) for a man of my age and size; at that time I could get a…

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip: Stop the Pop

So who told us it was OK to drink diet coke till it came out of our ears? Well unsurprisingly soft drinks manufacturers were the main culprits for mainstreaming fizzy pop into our homes and lives with their agenda of increased sales and profits at the expense of our health.

Their marketing created iconic links between: Coke and Football / Father Christmas, Basketball with PepsiMax and 7UP/Sprite; Lucozade with any sport; finally Dr Peppers with general craziness!

Recent research in the US has linked cola, pop and other fizzy drinks containing artificial sweeteners like Aspartame to a higher risk of developing diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure amongst other ailments.

On one level you should stop the pop to reduce unnecessary calories and caffeine and save your teeth.
On another you should stop drinking stuff containing sweeteners becuase of aforementioned risks.

When I work an Emergency GP night shift I will oft…

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip: Get to work on the way to work

So you want to lose weight? I keep advising people to become more active - but how can you fit this in to daily life?

We have become a nation of workaholics which creates problems for fitting in active lifestyle around the demands of work.

But did you know that you're 15% more productive at work on a day that you exercise* before work? (* I.E. >20mins out of breath)

Some interesting research was recently published from Holland (ok so the land of the bicycle is very flat but hence a good place to do research on the subject of cycling) showing that employees who cycled to work took less sick days on average than other employees. More benefits of cycling to work!

So how about putting in some cycling to get you to work?

Start thinking about how you might cycle all or part of your route to work if thats your thing - its a great cardio workout and will provide your exercise requirements and make you more efficient; it may also save you time sat in traffic and you will certainly …

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip - Fill Up On Low Calorie Foods

So you want to lose weight.

What is one of the hardest things about this?

Being hungry of course.

If you're used to eating a large volume of food your body will still crave it when you reduce the portion sizes you are eating; even though you fill up on a pint of water before each meal you will soon feel hungry again.

So when you get hungry between your smaller portion meals what do you do?

After exercising, drinking more water, distracting yourself (boredom or stress often provokes hunger) you should find a food you can fill up on which won't break the calorie bank.

I chose carrots because they are easily available, cheap, tasty ( I like them fresh+raw from the fridge or better the allotment) and they have few calories compared to beer, cake, biscuits, bread, sweets or other things I might reach for.

Carrots also have the added bonus of giving you a healthy skin tone which when surveyed makes your skin look more healthy than a tan or fake tan!

You can't really ov…

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip: Avoid Weight Gain on the Road

Something I always look at with men who want to lose weight is backup planning for situations in which the good intentions fall down.

You might have the best diet in the world at home with the support of your partner and family. Your daily routine might be fantastically healthy including cycling to work, eating healthy snacks, 5 a day and drinking plenty of water, going to the gym on the way home and eating a healthy dinner.

However when men hit the road this lifestyle plan is sucked out of the window on take-off.

Why is travel so hard and how can we rein in this area of our lifestyle?

Many of us travel for work, some for leisure. How can we maintain a good lifestyle in this complex challenging and fluid arena?

There are so many threats to your usual lifestyle when on the road - your timetable will change, your timezone may alter, your sleep habits may be affected, you need to be productive and alert while travelling, boredom and stress kick in when on the road and guess what - we re…

Mediterranean diet for heart health -

Mediterranean diet for heart health -

Here is more info on a diet that might be right for you - have a read because it is so much more than just eating gallons of olive oil on your salad!

Happy Sunday!

Dr Ben Sinclair Sinclair
Health Limited
Twitter: @menshealthtips
Linked In:

Is your bread making you ill? How 2011's loaves are bad for you | Mail Online

Is your bread making you ill? How 2011's loaves are bad for you | Mail Online

Everyone tells you to give up carbs. Well we do eat alot of bread in the UK /Western diet - bread and potatoes and pasta are really our staples.

Bread has changed over the years and now contains many additives which may not be so good for you.

Have a read of the link article above to find out more.

My advice?

Don't eat too much bread or rely on it as your only source of carbs - eat potatoe, rice, pasta, coucous, oats etc so you vary your diet and in the right proportions shown in the healthy eating plate post below, matched only by the same volume of vegetables and fruit in your daily intake.

White bread is especially bad and you'd be surprised how much pure refined sugar actually goes into making it- try making it or look at a recipe.

Go for granary or wholemeal with seeds - it contains more fibre and is more nutritious; best of all bake your own at the weekend with a bread maker - it tastes…

#BEATTHEBELLY Daily Tip - What is a Balanced Diet?

You are a typical guy.

You eat mainly meat and carbs and sometimes a few veg on the side.

You eat cheese in a burger or sandwich and eggs in a fry up.

You grab the odd piece of fruit and think you can get 5 a day from drinking a whole carton of orange juice..

So you like the idea of this BEATTHEBELLY thing and you're on a fitness drive so you start looking into diets: there is a bewildering variety of options out there from the Acai berry supplement diet with bowel cleanser (a.k.a caffeine fuelled vitamin C boost bowel explosion diet) to the Atkins "just eat meat and cheese" and get a neck like a bull diet.

Diet is something we all have to intake every day of our life, so essentially we are all on a diet all the time, but sometimes we tighten up and focus on certain foods.

How do you make sure you're getting a balanced diet?
Lets focus on a typical Western or developed world diet.

You need

Protein to build muscles - from meat, fish, eggs, cheese and some beans