Do you think you’re a foodie? How could this food bucket list make you slimmer?

Eating the same kinds of foods and meals each week gets a little boring and if you’ve ever put yourself on a restricted diet in order to lose weight, you’ll know that it’s a battle which sometimes causes more problems in the long run. A study published this month, shows that being a ‘foodie’ has an impact on a woman’s weight and their lifestyle. Find out what it means to be a foodie and the benefits of being more adventurous in your diet.

In a time when there is rising obesity in the Western world, researchers from the Cornell Food and Brand lab in the USA thought it was important to question if it had anything to do with the fact that people are eating more exotic foods than ever and a growth in the ‘foodie’ culture. The survey asked over 500 hundred women from the US questions about their perceived healthiness, lifestyle, psychology and about the foods which they have eaten or would be willing to try. The research was designed to find out, how being more adventurous when it comes to food, might be related to Body Mass Index – a number based on weight and height and is used as a tool to decide if your weight is putting you at risk of health problems.

The food Bucket List

To find out if you’re a foodie, which of the following foods would you be willing to try or eat more than once?

  • Kale
  • Seitan
  • Quinoa
  • Seaweed
  • Bean sprouts
  • Beef tongue
  • Eel
  • Quail eggs
  • Rabbit
  • Kimchi
  • Tempeh
  • Venison
  • Polenta
  • Liver
  • Raw oysters
  • Pork belly

Selecting more than nine of these defines you as an adventurous eater, for this study. Typically the two different types of women, adventurous and non adventurous eaters identified from this question, also showed similarities in personality and lifestyle traits. 

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People and attitudes towards the body across countries

A healthy lifestyle means something different to each person and can be linked to many influences in our lives. Habits like what time you eat your dinner at, are often linked to your cultural environment and impacted by the place that you live in. A new study reveals health ideals and how we view our bodies can be categorized in three different ways, varying around the world. 

The online survey created by Havas Worlwide, explored the attitudes of people aged 18+ in 28 different countries towards body image and health. Whether you believe nature or nurture to be more influential on our behaviours and how we view ourselves, there are similarities seen in these attitudes across different countries. People reported the role of their body in their happiness which could be a source of ‘pleasure’ or ‘pride and power’. One part of this study, revealed people view their bodies as serving different purposes and categorized their attitudes as pleasure seekers, holistic enthusiasts and functionalists.

Pleasure seekers

Present in Brazil, Spain and France, this attitude places value on the body as the way to experience enjoyment. Such countries are known for their sensuality and self celebration where a passion for dancing or finer cuisine is typical. The research suggests people with the ‘pleasure seeker’ attitude also highly value physical attractiveness. Which may not be so surprising as the Brazilian cosmetic industry is known around the world for enhancing one asset in particular, in order to look good in a bikini. The results of this survey also found “40 percent of Brazilians said cosmetic surgery is a “smart choice” for people who want to be more attractive”.

Holistic enthusiasts

This attitude encourages nurturing all aspects of the body and its natural rhythms as they are interconnected. You are more likely to find people with this attitude in China, India or Germany, where most people reported they believe in ageing naturally rather than having cosmetic surgery. The holistic attitude goes hand in hand with the practices and mindsets of a lifestyle which includes yoga and meditation. Sleep, a balanced diet and experiencing the outdoors are important priorities in the efforts to achieve optimum health.

Functionalists

Exactly what it sounds like, the body is viewed as something which must be functional, like a machine. People from the USA, UK and Australia where people value working hard in order to reach their full potential.The functionalist attitude towards health is supported by this value as people want the maximum results from their efforts and work out in order to reach their peak fitness.

Ideal and attitude doesn’t mean reality.

You might not want to be too quick to jump to describe yourself has having one attitude over another because the study highlights that the ‘attitudes’ towards body image and health might not actually translate into real life as much as people want it to. You might believe that being healthy means being at your peak, but that doesn’t mean you instinctively live your lifestyle in line with the ideal. If that was the case, anyone who falls into functionalist category would perform like an olympic athlete. However, functionalists are more likely to be found in three countries which have some of the world’s highest obesity rates. This suggests that what the healthy ideal is and how to achieve it might be linked to the country that you live in, it doesn’t mean that people live according to that lifestyle.

Body image satisfaction.

The great news? Overall, the study found that people generally have a positive relationship with their body across the 28 countries. People reported that dissatisfaction with body image was an impact from the beauty ideals that are presented through the media highlights something called ‘beauty fatigue’. The presence of women other than super tiny bikini models in advertising may be over praised, but recognition that people are tired of seeing overly airbrushed, photoshopped and therefore edited representations of women in adverts, could hopefully encourage more brands to change their campaigns!

A current trend in fashion and media is the need to make a song and dance about featuring ‘plus size’ models, such as the Sports Illustrated cover and advert. Check out our take on the campaign and the excess noise that went with it here

 

Adidas Go creates playlists customized to your run

When you workout 3+ times a week, the go to “workout” playlist can quickly become repetitive. Sometimes no amount of shuffling will do. Add a stale playlist to a session of solo running and you might seriously struggle to reach your planned distance or time. Searching for new music and syncing it with your device might be a drag, when all you want is pace perfect songs for the soundtrack to your jog. Sound familiar? Adidas Go could be the app of your dreams. 

Adidas Go is the first fitness app to use the accelerometer in the iPhone to create a playlists customised to your run. Adidas has teamed up with Spotify to make the most of the pace calculating technology to search for and play the music available on Spotify while you are on the go.

Fit favourites

It starts by using the songs that you have added to your favourites and creates a spontaneous soundtrack based on these, so it is customized to you. Afterwards you can review the playlist and if you like the songs you can save them directly to your Spotify account and keep building your library. The app is also claims to “go beyond” this by providing you with new music, if you allow it. The more that you run and use it, the more it will learn about your pace and taste. Another reason to get out there and pound the pavements! As well as this awesomeness, there are the usual features of other fitness apps out there. It tracks your run and gives you all of the details you need to assess your progress continually. And if you don’t have Spotify Premium, then Adidas Go will work its magic on the music from your library on the device instead! 

Fitness apps are not another fit fad

If you are thinking that you don’t need yet another app taking up your device’s memory then you might be right, but they’re not all a waste of space. A recent consumer study on attitudes towards health (which you can read more about here) highlighted that fitness, and more generally health apps are becoming a popular way to track and improve health allowing people to become more aware of their well-being. They can be helpful to let you see how many steps you take in one day, informing you that you could do with some more movement or are useful to set alarms to remind to drink more water throughout the day. Not only are they good for reminders, it can encourage you to be a member of a fit community that will keep you motivate. Maybe you’re not one for updating your social networks about your workout, but share a run from the Nike Plus app on Instagram or Twitter and you will be greeted with likes and encouragement from a worldwide running community of strangers.

Move to the music

When it comes to the things that get you pumped and energized while working out, everyone is different. Whether its rhythmic trance tracks that keep your pace or up beat party tracks that take your mind to an upcoming celebration where you want to feel great, find a way to make your workout fun, it shouldn’t be boring! If you would rather make the perfect playlist yourself and need some inspiration, then check out Safira Audrey’s hot workout tracks to get your butt moving. Add them to your music library now and get started on the soundtrack to your fit summer!

What do you think about using health apps? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or tell us which ones you use on your fitness journey and how they help you to reach your goals!

The ten day burgers, fries and soda diet

New research proves that the health problems related to eating junk food are about more than just consuming too many calories of fat and sugar. Even if you try to make cheat meals of McDonald’s hamburgers to fit your macros, the processed food actually kills bacteria needed to fight off diseases and prevent obesity. “THE DIET MYTH -The Real Science Behind What We Eat” by genetics professor Tim Spector, gives evidence as to why people should ditch the diet if they really want to reach a healthy, sustainable weight. 

Speaking about what to expect from his book, the professor told people to stop fad dieting in order to lose weight as science suggests there is much more to weight management than controlling calories consumed. He states the importance of having a varied diet in helping to protect our bodies against heart disease, cancer and obesity. If you have ever wondered why some people can eat all the chips or peanut butter they want without gaining weight, he seems to have found an answer. The simple idea that weight gain is only caused by eating more calories than your body burns, may not be the full picture. This also supports the idea seen on many fitness memes suggesting that “you can’t out-run a bad diet”. But this might explain why.

The ten day burgers, fries and soda diet

One case study highlighted within the book included the researcher’s 23 year old son as the guinea pig. He was instructed to eat only McDonald’s food for ten days straight to investigate the impact of junk food on the stomach. The experiment tested the bacteria in his gut before and after he lived on a diet of hamburgers, fries, chicken nuggets and Coca Cola for ten days. At the start of the experiment, tests showed that he had a normal 3500 different species of bacteria in his gut, at the end, 2200 different bacteria.

The types of bacteria found before and after suggests that junk food actually kills the ‘good gut bacteria’ (scientifically known to play a part in preventing disease) and increases ‘bad gut bacteria’ (which has been found in overweight people).

Diversity

The researcher’s McDonald’s experiment wasn’t purely to sicken his son of hamburgers, fries and cola but was to consider a lack of diversity in the diet. Nowadays people eat around 2o different food types but around 100 years ago our ancestors ate at least 125 every week. One important factor in health problems he suggests, is the lack of different bacteria in our guts which are an effect of not having a varied diet. The bacteria found in our stomach are essential to all of the chemical reactions which allow us to digest food properly. There needs to be as much of the different disease fighting bacteria in there to keep the immune system working, provide vital vitamins which have an impact on the calories our body actually absorbs. Myth busted!

The ingredients to the healthy body recipe

In order to overcome the problems that our modern day diet inflicts on our bodies, the author emphasizes the importance on the fact that everyone’s body works differently. Yes, what we have been saying all along 😉 But really, the science proves that the bacteria inside everyone’s gut are different. There isn’t an ultimate clean diet that everyone should be striving to live by and one diet will never fit all. Eating a range of foods which provide the essential bacteria that the body is known to need can help encourage good bacteria that will help the immune system stay strong. Yoghurt and cheese contain ‘good bacteria’, as well as garlic, nuts and dark chocolate.

If this research really teaches us anything, it is that non-processed food and as many different types of it are the ingredients to a healthy gut and body. Ditch the diet or detox to give yourself the best chances of living healthily long term by consciously eating a variety of good food, and your body can take of the rest. 

Average sized models better for business and women’s self esteem

The fashion industry has been criticised for years for using models deemed too thin, but it hasn’t stopped it yet. But the demand for models of all sizes in advertising is being taken more seriously, with more plus size models and fuller figured women on the covers of leading magazines. Scientific research proves average sized models make fashion brands more popular. Could this be the proof needed to get more brands on board size equality? 

Average sized models better for business and women’s self esteem

A series of studies soon to be published in the European Journal of Marketing, reveal that women’s attitudes towards a fashion brand may be impacted by their self esteem and the models that are used to advertise the products. The research proves that there is a positive perception of a brand whose adverts use models who are on average the same size as the consumer. This might seem obvious if you are one of the women who appreciates seeing women of all shapes and sizes advertising products. The most important thing is that this research proves its good for business which might provide the key to encouraging more companies to change their marketing approach.

The study

The Kent Business School in the UK surveyed women between the ages of 18 – 25 firstly about their self esteem. Then they asked the women to provide feedback on a picture of a model advertising a fashion brand. The study made use of new images from real and fictional clothing brands which had been edited to make the models appear smaller or the same size as the average size of the women of the survey (which was a UK size 10). They were then asked to state which size of model they preferred. The results showed that the women didn’t have a positive attitude towards the images of the smaller than average models for the fictional fashion brands and appeared to trust them less. For the well known fashion brands, there was no preference between the pictures of the thinner model and the average size model. Women’s self esteem was also considered in this study finding that it had an impact on their preference towards average sized model over the smaller model’s pictures.

The bigger picture

Arguments that images of extremely thin models damage self esteem might not have been enough to change advertising in the past but companies should take note that this isn’t good for business. Although thinner models have been the preferred way to advertise clothes in order to show the clothes at their best, if women don’t feel as though they look anything like the size of the model in the picture, they might choose not to buy the item of clothing anyway. As there was little or no difference in the attitude towards a picture with a size zero or average sized model, well known brands shouldn’t be able to excuse lack of diversity in size due to what they believe is better for business. It’s not just the big labels who could learn something from this study as lesser known brands would benefit from using average size models too. A lack of knowledge and therefore trust in smaller labels suggests that women are less tolerant of models that are not representative of the customer.

Let’s hope this scientific research is enough to make more fashion brands treat all sizes equally!

Urgent danger of unregulated diet pills

Recently Lisanne wrote about “Why slimming pills are a big no no” expressing that they are never the answer to lose weight. Not only do slimming pills support an unhealthy relationship with food that could prevent you from living a a maintainable healthy lifestyle, there are urgent dangers of diet pills.

Unregulated diet pills have fatal consequences
INTERPOL released a global alert about potentially lethal chemical, 2, 4 – Dinitrophenol (DNP) found in diet pills to aid weight loss. The global police agency issued a notice warning of the dangers of DNP, a chemical compound which is used as a pesticide and present in explosives, referencing cases from France and the UK, one of which was the death of 21 year old British woman earlier this month.

The Orange Notice, which warns of the potentially fatal consequences, was published at the request of the French government to 190 countries’ legal authorities, declaring the ‘imminent threat’ of the consumption of the chemical. The announcement was made public in order to raise awareness of the illicit substance and highlights the dangers of drugs manufactured without specialist knowledge and regulations.

Dangerous pig in a poke
Substances from unregistered websites could put your health at risk as they could be extremely harmful, out-of-date or fake.” Sold online in powder or capsule from and sometimes labelled as the spice, Tumeric as it appears similar in colour and texture, it is known to be in circulation in some body building communities as it increases the metabolism resulting in quick weight loss. Unsanitary laboratories and unclear labelling further add to the risks of the use of the industrial chemical, meaning consumers are at a high risk of overdosing.

19-diet-pills

Burn up from the inside
People have taken to Twitter to raise awareness of the risks since the recent death of 21 year old Eloise Parry. British police are still investigating her death after taking the pills. She was reported to have over dosed on the pills which she bought online that increased her metabolism to the point of fatality. Once in her system, doctors reported there was no antidote and made her “burn up from the inside”. Eloise’s mother explained that her daughter had suffered from bulimia and urged others experiencing body image issues not to take diet pills in order to lose weight. 

There is no quick fix
Share this story to keep discouraging people from using diet pills because there are no quick fixes. Living healthy doesn’t have an effect if you only do it when you feel like it. If you start with a healthy lifestyle, you have to keep up, otherwise you’ll have to start all over. We want to motivate our community to integrate healthy food and exercises in their lifestyle, instead of focusing on (crash)diets, detoxing and slimming pills. It might take a while, but it’s a durable solution for – in this case- losing weight. Crashdiets and slimming pills might cause your body to lose weight in a short period of time, but it also causes a lot of health risks. Your body is short on nutrients and this causes you to be underfed. Next to it, your muscles will break down because you don’t get enough nutrients.

Moreover, these kind of fast ways to lose weight do not change your behavior. And that’s what it’s all about; changing and adjusting your habits! Besides that, achieving confidence in yourself and your body is only possible with a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Diet won’t ever do that for you!

Why trans fat is your worst enemy

At #FITGIRLCODE we encourage balance in your diet and treating yourself but it is important to know what ingredients are in store bought food. Limiting processed junk food is one way to do this but a ban on trans fats could make it easier to avoid unknowingly eating foods that are undoing your healthy choices. 

Highly damaging to health
Partially hydrogenated oils or chemically enhanced vegetable oil, starts of as unsaturated fat but is then chemically saturated in order to increase the shelf life of food products. This results in trans fats which are found in food such as pizzas, fast food, popcorn, pastries and margarine and are proven to be highly damaging to health and are a factor in cardiovascular diseases.

Registered on the blacklist
Starting with Denmark, the inclusion of trans fats has been banned in food products in many countries across Europe with others restricting the quantity and requiring strict labelling which has helped reduce consumption. Clear labelling of ingredients contained within a product makes it easier to make a healthier decision and avoid unwanted consumption artificial substances in food.

The Food and Drug agency’s proposed ban on trans fats in the USA may result in lawsuits for major food manufacturers but is a step in the right direction for the country’s notorious reputation for unhealthy processed food. To prevent the ban, manufacturers would have to prove that trans fats are safe to consume. This contradicts research of recent years, which has concluded that artificial trans fats raise ‘bad’ cholesterol while lowering ‘good’ cholesterol.

It isn’t always possible to have home made snacks or make every meal from scratch, so regulations on food ingredients and even a ban on trans fats, could mean eating healthier might become a little bit easier. Even on days where you decide to treat yourself to some cookies or chips, there could be one less thing that is damaging to your health diet, as long as you consume them in moderation.

How to eat fat the healthy way
Using organic nut and coconut oils where necessary in your cooking at home is one change to make in order to reduce your intake of trans fats, as the Institute for Medicine states there are no safe level of consumption for this specific type of fat. Backlash from media sources suggests that Federal government is acting in its own interests by imposing a complete ban in order to make money (liability costs) in the process of exposing food producers. At #FITGIRLCODE we are actually pleased to hear about the proposal. Take a look at Aranka’s article The truth about fat, how and why it is necessary in your diet.

A healthy balanced diet means enjoying everything in moderation but it is important to check the labels and really limit processed food to ensure you aren’t consuming unnecessary chemicals and fuel your body with whole, nutrient rich foods.